Kenilworth secured a win in their first competitive game of the season at a grey, blustery and, at times, cold, Mayo Road, writes Bruce Doe.
The visitors settled first and after ten minutes both the forwards and backs drove at the Shipston defence, with flanker Ollie Burman finding a gap to dive over for the first, unconverted try.
Shipston responded well by taking the game to Kenilworth. However, the visitors’ defence stood firm and slowly but surely pushed Shipston back towards their line. A five-metre lineout was secured by Ks who drove towards the whitewash. The ball was then shipped out wide for Tommy Jones to touch down for a second unconverted try.
Shipston got some reward for their endeavours when they pushed Kenilworth into their own 22 and secured a penalty that they successfully converted to close the gap to 10-3 at the interval.
Kenilworth started the second half confidently, securing a penalty which was kicked to the corner. The resulting lineout was well won and the forwards drove over the line for a try for Gareth Renowden. Again, the conversion was missed by skipper Bobby Thompson as the blustery crosswind intervened.
Kenilworth secured the Shipston kick-off and, having sucked in the Shipston forwards, the ball was spun wide to Ed Hannam who handed off tackle attempts in a 70-metre run to the line.
Eight minutes later the visitors scored again following a strong run from Hannam which resulted in a maul on the Shipston line and skipper Thompson driving over for the try. Despite a fifth missed conversion, Kenilworth’s advantage was now out to 22 points.
Shipston continued to battle hard, particularly through their forwards, but were repeatedly undone by errors and indiscretions.
From another penalty, a returning Alex Selby kicked to the corner to secure a lineout five metres out. Again, good ball was secured and the resultant catch and drive saw the forwards touch down.
Thompson was successful with the conversion to make it 32-3.
Additional pressure on the Shipston line resulted in Renowden burrowing his way over for his second try of the day, with Thompson again converting to complete the scoring.
Kenilworth 2nds lost a closely contested match at Earlsdon 15-14. The try scorers for the Glasshouse Lane side were Neil Carter and James Thomason.