Nine-try Kenilworth power past Old Northamptonians in Cup contest
Kenilworth Ladies have progressed to the second round of the Intermediate Cup with a powerful 55-10 victory over fellow Women's NC Midlands 1 side Old Northamptonians, writes Sophie Freestone.
Just one week after Kenilworth secured a 57-0 victory over the same opposition, the Glasshouse Lane side put another 55 points past Old Northamptonians in a nine-try win.
It was the hosts that got off to the best start in the match, scoring a try on the left after just six minutes. The conversion fell short of the uprights as the hosts held an early 5-0 advantage.
Kenilworth responded four minutes later when the ever-impressive number eight Caroline Spence powered her way to the Old Northamptonians twenty two. Following pressure at the scrum after a Kenilworth knock on, Spence was on hand to finish a move she started by scoring under the posts. The conversion from Rebecca Lewis sailed through the uprights to nudge her side into a 7-5 lead with ten minutes on the clock.
The visitors then extended their lead after 17 minutes when full back Felicity Baldwin made a break through the Old Northamptonians defence. She offloaded to the supporting Phoebe Howles who scored on the left for her side's second try and a 12-5 lead.
However, just three minutes later Old Northamptonians responded to close the gap to just two points. The hosts scored their second try of the match by crossing on the left, but the opportunity to level the scores at 14-14 went begging with the missed conversion.
Howles then put her name back on the score sheet on the half hour mark. Playing at centre, Howles showed some great footwork to dodge her way past the Old Northamptonians defence to extend her side's lead. Lewis added the extras from the tee for a 19-10 advantage.
With half time approaching, Kenilworth were looking to take their lead beyond two scores, and that's exactly what they did through winger Sophie Henry. The speedster showed her sheer acceleration to beat Old Northamptonians' chasing defenders and touch down by the posts. Lewis was unlucky with the conversion with the ball bouncing off the uprights, as her side went into the break with a comfortable 24-10 lead.
Seven minutes into the second half, Kenilworth extended their lead to 21 points thanks to a converted try from Baldwin. Following some good pressure and passing in the Old Northamptonians' twenty two, Baldwin found herself in space on the right to score for a 31-10 advantage.
As the fifty minute mark approached, Gemma Gilleece crossed the whitewash to score Kenilworth's sixth try. The centre powered her way through the defence to touch down for a 36-10 lead.
The following fifteen minutes saw the game played in the middle of the park with neither side able to breach the defence. However, Kenilworth's efforts were rewarded when fly half Abi Minor broke through a hole in the Old Northamptonians defence to score under the posts. Lewis' conversion was successful to add the extras and give Kenilworth a 33-point cushion.
Henry then went on to secure her brace two minutes later, using her pace to outrun the defence on the left touchline. That was her side's eighth try for a 48-10 lead with three minutes to play.
Kenilworth's final try came courtesy of Siobhan Allison-Moore. The hooker didn't need the overlap and powered over the line to touch down. Lewis' excellent conversion from out wide sailed through the uprights to give her team a comfortable 55-10 victory.
Next up for the Ladies is a return to league action on Sunday. Third-placed Lutterworth make the trip to Glasshouse Lane in what is set to be an interesting encounter between two sides who have never met before.