Kenilworth Ladies make it nine from nine at Lutterworth
Kenilworth Ladies secured another league victory on Sunday to maintain their unbeaten run this season and stay top of the league, with a 43-15 defeat of Lutterworth in a tale of two halves, writes Sophie Freestone.
In blustery conditions at Ashby Lane, Kenilworth took the lead straight from the kick off when Sophie Henry continued her impressive try-scoring record. The young winger showed her pace to race past the Lutterworth defence and score the opening try of the match. Prop Rebecca Lewis added the extras for an early 7-0 lead.
The hosts then began to assert themselves on the match with a sustained period of pressure inside the Kenilworth 22 but ultimately Kenilworth's defence was too strong and Lutterworth's efforts went unrewarded.
Having held off the Lutterworth attack Kenilworth extended their lead when Felicity Baldwin's superb break from inside her own half took the visitors deep inside the hosts' territory. The ball then ball made it's way to number eight Caroline Spence who powered over the line.
That try opened the floodgates for Kenilworth with the side scoring four more tries in the first half. The first of these came from Stav Williams who made a break up the right wing to score with Lewis making it 19-0 following the conversion as the half hour mark approached.
Baldwin then went from creator to scorer as she was on hand to finish a move on the left wing after some great passing down the line put her into space. With Baldwin touching down by the posts, the extras from Lewis extended her side's lead to 26 points with five minutes of the half remaining.
Winger Phoebe Howles then put her foot down to round the Lutterworth defence and score on the left. Another conversion on a windy afternoon from Lewis took Kenilworth's lead to 33 points before centre Beth Woodward completed the first half scoring by barging through the Lutterworth defence. That try gave Kenilworth a commanding 38-0 advantage at the break.
If the first half was all Kenilworth, the second half belonged to Lutterworth. Having secured a comfortable 38-point cushion in the opening forty, Kenilworth were hoping to add to their tally in the final forty but it was Lutterworth that found their way onto the scoreboard.
Five minutes into the second half Kenilworth went down to 14 players when the referee penalised them for being offside and Lutterworth were quick to capitalise on their one-player advantage. They cross almost immediately through Hannah Faulds to make the score 38-5.
Just as Kenilworth had been restored to their full compliment, Lutterworth were once again over the line from close range when Carla Jones touched down to close the gap to 28 points.
With the match entering the final 20 minutes Lutterworth still had a mountain to climb but Kenilworth were once again playing with 14 on the pitch. As before, it didn't take long for the hosts to take advantage of their extra player with Nicola Crick going over, but Kenilworth's superior performance in the first half had left Lutterworth with too much to do.
Williams speed was enough to see her beat the Lutterworth defence and the winger scored her second try of the afternoon in the 79th minute. The ever-reliable Lewis once again added the extras from the boot to complete a 43-15 victory.
The Ladies return to Glasshouse Lane on Sunday for their second Double Header. The first match of the day sees the Development XV take on De Montfort University before the 1st XV hosts Wellingborough in the league.