Kenilworth Colts suffered the narrowest of defeats away to Earlsdon in a physical game in poor conditions. Final score 21 – 20.
In their last encounter at Glasshouse Lane, in November, the Colts secured an impressive victory. They were looking for a repeat performance on a soaking wet Earlsdon pitch, with the rain still falling.
The opening 15 minutes were best described as scrappy. The ball was like a wet bar of soap and both sides struggled for control. Kenilworth’s scrum was holding out well against a far heavier pack and their lineout performance was good. Kenilworth’s Ed Hinchliffe seized an opportunity 25 minutes in to open the score sheet with the game’s first try. Will Morgan couldn’t convert into the wind though. The first of several Earlsdon penalties came within 6 minutes though, giving Earlsdon a confidence boost and a 3 – 5 tally.
Kenilworth’s discipline dropped and with 14 men on the pitch, conceded an unconverted try and a second penalty within a few minutes of play. Suddenly, Kenilworth were 11 – 5 down at the half time whistle.
The second half opened well for Kenilworth and, running a great line, Henry Wood punched through the defence at pace to score a try, ten minutes in. Will Morgan’s boot, still needing some fine tuning, missed the conversion; 11 – 10. Kenilworth struggled to make their pace and open style count in the muddy conditions but fought on. Earlsdon secured a try some five minutes later, which – in the form of Henry Maggs – Kenilworth replied to with their third try of the game. Will Morgan came even closer, with the bar denying his conversion kick, leaving things at 16 – 15.
Three minutes from time, Kenilworth kicked into the corner, took the lineout and drove the maul over the line for their final try of the game. A tremendous effort, scored by ????? The conversion again proved elusive but with a minute to go, spirits were up at 16 – 20 to the visitors. Then disaster struck, and some three minutes into the last minute, a penalty gave the only chink of light Earlsdon needed, and they scored a try on the whistle, with the final score 21 – 20.
The weather and ground conditions proved to be great levellers in this contest, favouring Earlsdon’s strong forwards. Much to be proud of in Kenilworth’s performance and also some lessons to be learned.