WHITCHURCH COMEBACK STUNS KENILWORTH
KENILWORTH 13 WHITCHURCH 15
Whitchurch scored ten unanswered second half points to secure a 15-13 win at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday. The result was Kenilworth's first defeat at home since mid-November and sees them sitting in eighth in the league with one game in hand, writes Sophie Freestone.
Kenilworth started the match brightly and were soon awarded a penalty, inside the first three minutes, as Whitchurch were penalised for being off their feet. Centre Josh Hickman was successful with his kick to give the home side an early 3-0 lead.
As the quarter hour mark approached, winger Joe Jepps found space out wide on the left but couldn't quite break through. A second penalty shortly after from Hickman extended Kenilworth's lead, however, to six points after sixteen minutes.
Kenilworth had the upper hand for much of the opening forty, and the first try of the match came on 28 minutes. After spending a period of play camped on the Whitchurch 5m line through a series of line out and scrums, Ross Lowthian crossed the whitewash to the left of the posts in a well worked move from a scrum on the right wing. The successful conversion from Hickman gave Kenilworth a 13-0 half lead.
Whitchurch responded well, however, and scored their first try of the afternoon thanks to a cross field kick to the right. The missed conversion made the score 13-5 to the hosts.
The first half came to a disappointing end for Kenilworth, with hooker Marcus Andrew’s yellow carded for a high tackle, as Whitchurch approached the try line. Kenilworth's defence held out though, to maintain their seven point advantage going into the break.
Whitchurch came close to scoring the opening try of the second half but were denied as the ball was knocked on over the line inside the first 2 minutes. Loose play from Whitchurch followed and a kick through from Kenilworth took them right up to the opposition's try line but they couldn't quite cross the whitewash.
Another chance soon followed for the home side, after a great line out steal from Tom Lane followed by a superb break from Will Blundell, but scrum half Gaz Renowden couldn't quite make the catch as he approached the Whitchurch 22.
Whitchurch then closed the gap to just 5 points with an impressive penalty from just inside the Kenilworth half to make the score 13-8 with just over 20 minutes to play.
Their comeback was then completed four minutes later after a break took the visitors up to the Kenilworth try line. A clearance kick from the home side didn't have the distance and it was an easy run in for Whitchurch on the left. The conversion was successful and the visitors took a 15-13 lead with just under 20 minutes to play.
Kenilworth did not give up however, and some interesting refereeing decisions saw the majority of penalties awarded in Whitchurch's favour in the closing stages. As the match entered the final minutes, Kenilworth had space out on the left with a three on one, but a penalty was awarded to the visitors who subsequently held on to secure a narrow two point victory.
See the two sets of piccies at
WHITCHURCH PICS 1
WHITCHURCH PICS 2