Kenilworth’s 13/14 sojourn in the Warwickshire Cup ended in a heavy defeat to level 5 side Nuneaton, boasting three ex Kenilworth players in their ranks. Nuneaton were much sharper match fitter and ran in eleven tries to Kenilworth’s two, two of the Nuneaton scores coming in the last minute of the game, writes Willie Whitesmith.
Nuneaton started the game on fire and poor tackling and kicking by Kenilworth allowed them to take a 14-0 lead with two scores in the opening five minutes. Kenilworth responded well and when Nuneaton conceded a penalty there was a superb catch and drive from the resulting lineout and winger Ed Hannam touched down for a try, converted by Tom Kendall. Kenilworth were very much in the game now and were successful in a number of occasions of turning over Nuneaton’s ball, only to lose the ball themselves soon after. However silly mistakes and loose play allowed Nuneaton in for a further score. Ed Hannam was prominent again with a tremendous try saving tackle on the line but from the lineout Nuneaton scored again after a handling error by Kenilworth. Again Kenilworth came back with impressive running and kicking from Jimmy Middleton and fly half Dom Sheehan but some loose passing and handling errors were to cost Kenilworth dear as Nuneaton ran in a further three tries for a 38-7 half-time lead.
A similar pattern existed in the second half with Kenilworth competing and winning ball only to make silly mistakes that the much sharper Nuneaton capitalised on. Nuneaton scored again almost from the kick off but Kenilworth responded well and following a period of sustained pressure and good forward drives Bobby Thompson darted in for a try, again converted by Kendall. There was some great try saving tackles from Ross Lowthian and Ed Hannam but they could not prevent Nuneaton running in two tries in two minutes and a 59-14 lead with twenty minutes remaining. The score stayed like this with Kenilworth competing well but not really threatening the Nuneaton try line. In the last few minutes Nuneaton ran in two late tries and a final score-line of 73-14.
Kenilworth will be better and sharper match fitter for this game and should welcome back a number of players for next weeks opening league encounter with Silhillians.