KENILWORTH 43 BERKSWELL & BALSALL 18
Despite a convincing home win, Kenilworth 1st XV’s coaches were no doubt doing a collective “Eddie Jones” as the home side showed early Christmas spirit by gifting a series of unnecessary penalties to the visitors, writes Peter Jones.
On a crisp autumn day in front of a large derby crowd, Kenilworth showed their attacking intentions early on by kicking a penalty to the corner. After an attacking scrum was wheeled, poacher Gareth Renowden scored a beautifully scrappy try to open the scoring. Tyler converted.
Balsall responded with a well earned try to bring the scores to 7 all.
Renowden scored again snatching a good try after an equally scrappy line out to put the score to 12:7.
Balsall narrowed the gap with a penalty to 12:10.
Winger Harry Philpot was replaced after about 20 minutes with a shoulder injury, by Alex Selby.
Towards the end of the first half, Kenilworth responded with a superb backs move resulting in a try by winger Eddie Hannam.
From this point, the visitors main attacking weapons were their scrum and the largesse of the home side in handing over a series of penalties. Outstanding young centre, Charlie Stevens, blotted his copy book by twice taking out Balsall players without the inconvenient formality of them having the ball! The second penalty earned him a 10 minute spell in the bin.
Hooker Jimmy Scott deserves a special mention as the accuracy of his line out throwing was on a par with Eric Bristow and offered Kenilworth a fine attacking platform. Nick Gerber, Will Johnson and Mikkel Andresen dominated the throw ins. Prop Ross Lowthian made a welcome return at half time after some weeks out.
From another penalty to the corner, Nick Gerber scored from a forward drive.
The athletic Ollie Burman came on as a substitute in the second half and scored two outstanding tries to seal the result for Kenilworth.
7 tries overall and 4 conversions from Tyler resulted in another bonus point win and earned them equal second position in the league. Defensively they tackled as well as ever and Rob Thomason is maturing well at 10.
It is as well, however, television cameras were not present to record the coaches’ frustration at the home side’s over generosity to their guests.
Once again however, Kenilworth’s fitness, pace and athleticism carried the day.
The pics for the game can be viewed HERE