A grey miserable day at Glasshouse Lane was reflected in a rather monochrome performance from Kenilworth's 1st XV, as the hosts secured a 22-15 victory over local rivals Southam, writes Peter Jones.Despite dominating possession for most of the game, Kenilworth failed to convert pressure into points and the result was only settled in the last few minutes of the match.
Southam opened the scoring and took an early lead with two penalties. Fly half Alex Selby responded with a penalty for Kenilworth to make the score 6-3 to the visitors.
Prop Dan Minks then established a narrow Kenilworth lead, going over from just a few metres out. Selby converted to give the hosts a slender 10-6 lead. Southam then responded with two more penalties to nudge them ahead at half time with a score of 12-10.
After the interval Kenilworth's young centre, Charlie Stevens, scored a fine individual try after Southam had added another penalty. The conversion was missed to leave the scores level at 15 apiece early in the second half.
Minks, who had a fine all round game, added another try in the last moments to put Kenilworth into the lead. Selby added the extras to give his side a seven point cushion as the match entered the final minutes, before the whistle blew to give Kenilworth a 22-15 victory.
Kenilworth fielded an exceptionally strong and physical front row of Dan Minks, Ross Lowthian and Dan Roberts but despite their obvious physical superiority in the scrum, it did not always work to Kenilworth’s advantage.
The line out was once again outstanding with stand in hooker Lowthian, hitting double top on 90% of his throws, combining well with the athletic ability of Ollie Burman, Mikkel Andresen, Nick Gerber and Will Johnson. This provided useful attacking ball but Kenilworth squandered several opportunities through technical infringements around the line out.
Number eight Mikkel Andresen and scrum half Gareth Renowden both attempted to open the game up but they were well contained by some solid Southam defence.
In the backs, Ryan Spriggs made his first appearance for the 1st XV this season on the wing while the versatile Harry Philpot appeared on the opposite wing. In midfield, Josh O’Brien partnered Charlie Stevens in the centre with Alex Selby at fly halfand Gareth Renowden at scrum half. Ollie Sharples made a welcome return at full back, however, his lack of recent match practice perhaps explained his lack of confidence in his own pace. On occasions he chose turn inside rather than rely on his fast feet to beat his opposite man.
It was a performance which could be described as “gutsy” but not one for the rugby purist. While the failure to convert pressure into tries and to adapt to the referee’s interpretations was frustrating but all in all it was another very welcome win for Kenilworth as they pursue their ambition of promotion this season.
The pictures from the match can be viewed by clicking HERE.