Kenilworth 12 Bournville 15, Sat 24th Oct 2015
Placed fourth in the Midlands West 1 table, Kenilworth entertained sixth placed Bournville, on a wet and windy Saturday, where the conditions would make both sides make mistakes and need to work hard for an entertaining game of rugby. In the end, the conditions played more to the strengths of a Bournville side, who had been demoted from the National League at the end of last season, writes Dean Stephenson.
The game was preceded by a minutes silence for Michael Knight, who had passed away unexpectedly, two weeks previously, and will be sorely missed by all members of the club, especially the Minis and Juniors, where Michael was one of the coaches. Michael was also the father of Ashley, a Bournville prop.
The game started very well for the home side, when scrum half Gareth Renowden, collected a dropped line out ball 15 metres from the Bournville line, and slid in for an unconverted try after just 6 minutes of play. Unfortunately the conversion was missed, and the lack of a regular recognised kicker, for the Kenilworth side, with full back Josh Hickman being injured in last weeks defeat to Whitchurch, would prove to be costly to Kenilworth.
Bournville then started to use their large experienced forwards to make significant yardage and after Kenilworth were penalised for holding on in the tackle, Bournville No10 Alex Warner converted his first penalty attempt to bring the score back to 5-3. In an error strewn first half, from both sides, it was Warner's deft chip over the Kenilworth defence, which saw winger Warren Oliver collect the ball, and score in the corner. Warren made the difficult conversion to give the visitors a 5-10 lead with half time approaching. The Kenilworth forwards, stung into activity, made good yardage, with Bobby Thompson, James Wadey and Nick Collett, moving the ball upfield. This led to a Kenilworth penalty, between the 22 and half way line but unfortunately, the attempted penalty kick at goal, was pushed wide, and the half finished at Kenilworth 5 Bournville 10.
As well as the first half started well for Kenilworth, the first 20 minutes of the second half belonged to Bournville. The home team were immediately pinned back in their own half, and a number of first-up tackles were being missed by the home side, which lead to some heroic defence from Gareth Renowden, Mikkel Andresen, Ollie Burman and James Wadey, all making important try saving tackles. Eventually the dam broke and with ex-Stourbridge No8 Drew Harper, who was making yards from the base of every scrum, supported by another ex Stourbridge player Lawrenson, it was the No8 who eventually collected the ball to score, to make the score 5-15. The conversion was missed, but it was still an uphill struggle for the home team, who despite trying to take the game to the opposition, sometimes took the wrong option in trying to keep the ball moving in trying conditions. Luckily for the home side, the Bournville kicker also started to miss important kicks for goal, which could have effectively killed off the Kenilworth come back, but the score remained the same at 5-15.
With the game going into the last 15 minutes, the sun came out for the first time, and Kenilworth responded by really taking the game to the opposition. The Bournville replacement prop No16 Coles was yellow carded for blatantly stamping on Ollie Burman. This was spotted by the referee, and he was lucky to get away with only a sin-binning. Kenilworth used the man advantage and kicked for the corners, and only some wayward passing and possession dropped stopped the home team from scoring. But with five minutes left, the ever lively Gareth Renowden took a quick penalty, only to be stopped by the Bournville No9 Vaughan, and he replaced Coles in the sin bin. The home side were now camped on the opposition 5 metre line and after another couple of infringements the Bournville No2 Knight was also shown the yellow card. With the opposition down to 13 men, the home side pounded the line only for Bournville to be penalised again and again for infringements, and in the end referee Garmston, from Somerset, awarded the home side a well deserved penalty try, which was converted by No10 Selby.
This proved to be last play of the game leaving Kenilworth with a bonus point loss at 12-15.
This is the last of this years 3:00 o'clock kick-offs with games now starting at 2:15.