A high mark for effort but low one for execution, summarizes Kenilworth's visit to the environs of the impressive Sixways stadium on an unseasonably mild afternoon. While keeping the score close enough to secure a losing bonus point, they were forced to play second fiddle to a more co-ordinated and inventive Wanderers side. The root of the problem was inability to either carry through or adapt their game-plan to suit the circumstances. In effect, this meant that their potentially dangerous threequarters saw little of the ball (writes Bob Jones).
After an opening five minutes during which the home side threatened to run riot, Kenilworth unexpectantly opened the scoring, when a Josh McShane break was carried on with both style and power by Simon Tyler. Tom Kendall converted the try. Following this, they just about held their own throughout the first quarter, although the strong Worcester scummage was persistently causing them problems. On one occasion, the considerable combined efforts of Jonny Cresswell and Jack Gibson were needed to secure the ball as the opposing pack were about to drive over the line. The pressure eventually told, and after the Ks had been penalized for not releasing the tackler, by referee Ron Hobbs, centre Fincher slotted a goal on 27 minutes. This spurred the Wanderers to greater heights, and after three more minutes pressure, and a slick bout of handling, hooker James was on hand to take the scoring pass, Fincher adding the extras. For the remainder of the half, it was essentially more of the same, with the visitors living off scraps. In time added, the Ks strayed offside and were punished by another Fincher penalty goal. Clearly rattled, they conceded two more penalties for back-chat before the break.
Kenilworth started the second half in positive fashion, and when Mr Hobbs judged Worcester to be offside, Kendall struck a post with the penalty attempt. A knock-on from the rebound gave the visitors a scrum under their opponents crossbar. Dominic Sheehan then powered his way towards the line but was penalized for not releasing. More pressure led to another penalty award to the Ks. This time Kendall made no mistake, thereby reducing the deficit to three points after eight minutes. Unfortunately, directly from the restart, the Wanderers drew 10 points clear, following what is best diplomatically described as an episode of loose play by their opponents. Flanker Southwood had little to contend with as he charged over, Fincher again converting. The home side now further opened the throttle, and it took a series of excellent last-ditch tackles, with Tyler and Sheehan to the fore, to save what looked like certain tries. Beckett, hitherto starved of the ball, showed his mettle in chasing down an intelligent kick ahead to the corner by Alex Selby, only to be beaten by the touchline. It was then the turn of Andy Whitehall, similarly having hitherto seen little in the way of useful passes, to scorch to the opposite corner in pursuit of a touch-down from another punt ahead; this facilitated by an excellent break from deep by Cresswell. Bobby Thompson, whose earlier trademark runs had not borne fruit, managed to make good ground with one. With the clock showing added time, an indiscretion by Worcester afforded Kenilworth a shot at goal. With Kendall out of action because of a leg injury, Tyler stepped up and coolly dispatched the kick, much to the delight of coach Richard Gibson and the few travelling faithful.
Kenilworth: Muncaster, Cresswell, Collett, Flowers, Wood, Dickson, Gibson, Thompson, Selby, McShane, Beckett, Sheehan Tyler, Whitehall, Kendall. Replacements: Openshaw, Llewellyn, Owen.