Kenilworth hang on to third spot despite Earlsdon defeat
Kenilworth suffered a 29-17 defeat away to Earlsdon in the league on Saturday, but remain in third place despite the loss, writes Sophie Freestone.
Kenilworth have been in third sport behind Droitwich and Malvern since the early stages of the season, but Earlsdon have been hot on their heels and their victory closed the gap to just two points. It was therefore set to be an interesting encounter but Earlsdon set the tone for the match early on.
The hosts opened the scoring inside ten minutes when Callum Forsyth broke free in the Kenilworth 22 to score his side's first of the afternoon. He then converted his own try to give his side an early 7-0 lead.
Having conceded an early try, Kenilworth pushed for their first try of the match but handling errors prevented them from getting on the score board until deep into the first half. Their first try saw powerful back row Mikkel Andresen barge his way over after 25 minutes but the conversion was missed as the home side held on to the lead.
Earlsdon then extended their advantage to seven points when Josh Darcy won the race to his kick downfield to cross for his side's second try. The conversion went wide of the uprights but the hosts pushed themselves further ahead with half time approaching when Darcy once again broke through the Kenilworth defence to touch down for a 17-5 half time lead.
Kenilworth started the second half more brightly than the first with captain Bobby Thompson adding to their earlier score after an interception. The conversion attempt was missed, however, to give Earlsdon a seven-point cushion.
That try seemed to give Kenilworth some momentum and the following 20 minutes were dominated by Kenilworth attacks in the Earlsdon half. The visitors were unable to convert that pressure to points, however, and Earlsdon eventually put the match beyond Kenilworth with a try in the 70th minute. A well-worked period of play saw fly half Forsyth cross for his second and his successful conversion gave his side a 24-10 lead as the match entered its closing stages.
Five minutes later Earlsdon had their fifth try when Leo Craddock showed his pace to beat the Kenilworth defenders. The conversion was missed but the hosts went into the final minutes with an unassailable 19-point lead.
Thompson went over for Kenilworth in the 79th minute, with Alex Selby converting, but it was mere consolation as Earlsdon followed their 13-10 Warwickshire Shield final success over Kenilworth with a 29-17 league victory against the same opposition.
Kenilworth are next in action against Evesham at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday 7th April following the Easter break.
Elsewhere at Kenilworth, their 2nd XV played Berkswell & Balsall in the 2nd XV Warwickshire Shield final on Sunday but were narrowly beaten in a tough fixture by 20-18. Kenilworth's tries came through Nick Collett and Marc Spriggs (2) with centre Andy Funnell adding a penalty.