Double Header a big success for Kenilworth Ladies
Kenilworth Ladies hosted their very first Double Header on Sunday afternoon, with both the development side and 1st XV securing impressive victories at Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
The development side kicked off the day's action with a match against the University of Oxford Panthers, securing a 25-15 victory. The 1st XV then took to the field for their second round Intermediate Cup tie against league rivals Five Ways Old Edwardians, a match in which they scored 13 tries in an 81-5 victory.
In the opening match of the afternoon, Siobhan Allison-Moore crossed twice for Kenilworth's development side against the Panthers. Flanker Cath Lyon, fly half Emma Beaney and wing Patricia McMahon also added their names to the score sheet before the Ladies 1st XV took to the field.
That match capped a special day for the Ladies section at Kenilworth, with winger Phoebe Howles scoring five tries to help her side progress to the next round of the competition. However, it was Kenilworth's other winger Sophie Henry who opened the scoring in the Cup contest with a try inside five minutes.
This was followed by a score from centre Beth Woodward which was converted by Rebecca Lewis for a 12-0 lead after just ten minutes of play. Howles then opened her account after 16 minutes, finding herself in space on the left to extend her side's advantage to 17 points in as many minutes.
As the half hour mark approached, Five Ways Old Edwardians eventually scored their first points of the match, with Rhiannon Watkins burrowing over the line for what was to be their only try of the afternoon.
Kenilworth's fourth try came courtesy of Howles who showed her deadly acceleration down the right wing to leave the Five Ways Old Edwardians defence in her wake and take the score to 22-5 with 29 minutes on the clock.
It only took a further four minutes for Howles to secure her hat trick, with the winger sneaking over on the right. Lewis added the extras with a successful conversion. It was then the turn of Henry to continue the try-scoring fest for Kenilworth's wingers, showing her speed and footwork to weave her way through the opposition's defence from inside her own half.
That wasn't the end of Kenilworth's try-scoring for the first half however, with Felicity Baldwin joining the party. The centre's quick-thinking saw her scoop up a loose ball on the visitors' 22 before breaking clear for a try under the posts. The conversion from Lewis made the score 41-5.
Howles added a fourth before the whistle blew for half time with Lewis bringing the opening forty to a close with the conversion. At half time the hosts were in a commanding position with a 48-5 lead.
Full back Helena Allison-Moore opened the scoring in the second half with a try after 45 minutes, with Rebecca Lane slotting the extras from the tee. Powerful number eight Caroline Spence then bulldozed her way through the Five Ways Old Edwardians defence from inside the 22 to score under the posts and add to her side's tally. Lewis once again made no mistake with the conversion to give the hosts a 62-5 lead.
The bounce of the ball then favoured Woodward, with the centre breaking through the defence to touch down by the posts. Prop Kirsty Davie, who found herself on the wing, then showed great hands take the ball and dive over in the corner as Kenilworth continued to put points on the board in the closing stages of the match.
It is perhaps fitting that it was Howles who brought the scoring to an end with her fifth try of the match. The winger was released into space by Lewis before racing to the line to bring a memorable day at Glasshouse Lane to a close.
This Sunday, the Ladies are set to take on Towcestrians at home in another development fixture before they return to league action the following Sunday away to Rugby Lionesses.
See selected photos of the game HERE