VICTORY FOR KENILWORTH ENDS 2015 ON A HIGH
Kenilworth's run of form continued at the weekend as they beat Silhillians 36-22 to end 2015 on a high. Their fourth successive victory keeps them in seventh spot in the league, only three points off the lead with a game in hand ahead of the festive break, writes Sophie Freestone.
The programme for the game noted that games between Kenilworth & Silhillians are high scoring affairs, averaging fifty six points per game, and this was no exception. The opening minutes were action packed with both sides showing their attacking intent. Silhillians were the first to reach their opposition's 22 via a kick to touch. Kenilworth's defence held strong however, forcing a knock on, thanks to a huge hit from the returning Pat Jenkinson.
It was then Kenilworth who showed their attacking flair with a great break from fly half Alex Selby from inside his own 22. The home side's first opportunity to put points on the board came shortly after, on 6 minutes, with a penalty attempt from Josh Hickman which was just dragged wide of the uprights on the breezy drizzly afternoon.
It wasn't long though before Kenilworth put the first points on the board through prop Dan Roberts' try to give the home side a 5-0 lead inside 10 minutes. Typically, Silhillians responded immediately with a try out on the left following an attack straight from the restart. The missed conversion left the score at 5-5.
Kenilworth response was immediate, however, with winger Ed Hannam crossing the whitewash after a perfectly executed driving maul following a line out deep inside the Silhillians 22 from a great clearance kick from full back Jamie Mapletoft. The conversion was successful from Hickman to give the home side a 12-5 lead after 16 minutes.
A second try from Silhillians closed the gap again to just two points at the start of the second quarter. The skills of Pat Jenkinson were a great asset to Kenilworth as he made some great line out steals that really applied pressure on the opposition's set piece, before Silhillians were almost gifted an opportunity. With a man out wide, a great tackle from Kenilworth was enough to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.
As the half time approached, Hickman was just wide of the target with a long range penalty attempt from the halfway line, before scrum half Gaz Renowden made the most of a 5m scrum to cross under the posts. The conversion from Hickman was a formality and the home side led 19-10 at the break.
Kenilworth made a brilliant start to the second half, scoring straight from restart. Having retained possession from the kick off, they took play over to the right, before a change of direction from Hickman put Bobby Thompson in under the posts for this third try in two games to secure the bonus point. The conversion gave the home side a comfortable 16-point advantage.
Silhillians then applied some good pressure on Kenilworth's defence, forcing the home side to clear lines twice before a third try for the visitors was scored wide on the left. The visitor's almost closed the gap again 10 minutes later, as they nearly scored under the posts, before Joe Jepps stole the ball and made a break upfield. Silhillians' fourth (and bonus point) try did come, however, after a good attack out wide on the left to make the score 26-22 with 20 minutes remaining.
In a nervous final quarter coach Wayne Morgan introduced Mikkel Andreson and Nick Collett and their experience proved crucial in securing the points. A 65th minute penalty from Hickman extended the home side's lead, crucially, to that of a converted try, before a second score from prop Dan Roberts with 10 minutes to play, converted by Hickman, put the game past Silhillians to ensure that Kenilworth end the year wit their fourth successive win.
Kenilworth’s postponed league game with Hereford has been re-arranged for Sat 2nd Jan.
The piccies from the game can be viewed at: