SILHILLIANS 27 KENILWORTH 15
Kenilworth's season which started, like last season, with a fizz and a sparkle ended with a phut! Having won 8/10 games in the build up to the new year they appeared to suffer at times from a rugby torpor in which they were slow in thought and deed, writes Peter Jones.
They finished the season safely in mid-table, in 9th place and some 14 league points above the team below them but they will be disappointed that 2015 has seen few impressive performances.
Silhillians were playing for their league lives and started the game (with the wind) at a tremendous pace. Within 10 minutes Kenilworth were two tries and 12 points down. They spent almost all of the opening period frantically defending. Silhillians then added another penalty to stretch their lead to 15-nil. Kenilworth's reply was a solitary penalty by Josh Hickman.
Kenilworth then woke up and decided to join the party. There was some excellent work in the scrums and lineouts and some powerful forward drives built around James Wadey, Ed Holmes and Ross Lowthian.
Kenilworth did not help themselves however when they failed to clear a ball from a scrum on their own line leading to another soft try for Silhillians to take the lead to 22-3. The visitors then started to exert more pressure leading to a fine try out wide by Ross Lowthian following good work from Gareth Renowden and Arthur Haynes bringing the score to 22-8. The half ended with Kenilworth on top.
The large Kenilworth support were convinced, to a man, that the deficit was retrievable, particularly as Kenilworth now had the wind in their favour and had finished the first half on top. Soon after the re-start however Silhillians added their fourth bonus try which was greeted by the home fans with a roar like Krakatau on helium! Whatever the results of the other league games their future in Midlands West one was safe, provided they kept the lead (27-8) of course!
Kenilworth responded well and were now dominant with stand in skipper Mikkel Andreson having another fine game. He was very involved in setting up a fine try close to the posts for Gareth Renowden, converted by Josh Hickman and a 27-15 score-line. However Kenilworth's optimism was cut short when Andreson received a yellow card for a late tackle with ten minutes remaining and Kenilworth's hopes of a comeback were dented. This did not stop them trying and Silhillians were very guilty of conceding a number of penalties close to their line. A quick tap from one penalty and the forwards were convinced they had scored but the referee was not and awarded a 5m scrum to Kenilworth. If only that had been awarded it would have set up a very interesting finish!
Ultimately the home side closed out the game and ran out deserved winners and preserved their status in Mids 1 west.