WORCESTER WANDERERS 38 KENILWORTH 5
WORCESTER BRING KENILWORTH BACK DOWN TO EARTH FOLLOWING IMPRESSIVE HEREFORD VICTORY
Worcester Wanderers inflicted a heavy 38-5 defeat on Kenilworth on Saturday on a wet and windy afternoon in the shadows of Sixways. The disappointing result leaves Kenilworth sitting in 11th in the league with the final match of the season, away to Leek, to come, writes Sophie Freestone.
Despite the cold, rain and hail, Kenilworth started the match brightly with a penalty after just one minute. Worcester's Andy Reid had taken possession of the ball following a knock on from his team mate James Priddey, but Hickman's penalty attempt sailed just wide of the uprights. Moments later he narrowly missed another long-range opportunity.
In the opening 15 minutes, Kenilworth showed glimpses of their attacking potential, with Joe Jepps unfortunate to knock the ball on following a powerful kick through from Worcester. The visitors set piece was starting to falter however, and Worcester took advantage to give themselves good field positions and a strong attacking platform.
Although Kenilworth did well to withstand the pressure from Worcester's multiple attacks, their defence eventually broke down after 16 minutes as Worcester scored the opening try of the match. Tom Biggs converted to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.
Kenilworth then gave themselves a great opportunity to close the gap, after an excellent touch finder from Hickman took his side up to the Worcester 22, but the set piece let Kenilworth down as they lost the crucial line out.
With the half hour mark approaching Kenilworth continued to be on the back foot and Worcester extended their lead with 29 minutes played, thanks to a try from Tom Dodge. This time, Biggs missed the conversion to make the score 12-0 to Worcester. With Worcester having the momentum, it wasn't long before they extended their lead by another seven points. A driving maul in the Kenilworth 22 resulted in a 34th minute try for Ben Rhodes, which Biggs converted for a half time lead of 19 points.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half saw Kenilworth in a number of good field positions, camped inside the Worcester 22, but they were unable to capitalise on their opportunities. The closest they came to a try was in the 54th minute after a through-the-legs pass from Kalum Goodfellow 5m out from the Worcester try line, but the ball didn't make it over the line.
Kenilworth's frustrating afternoon was compounded when the home side extended their lead on 60 minutes, securing a try bonus point in the process, when James Aston crossed the line. The conversion from Biggs made the score 26-0 to Worcester. Kenilworth then had a 65th minute penalty which was kicked to touch by Hickman, only for the set piece to let them down once again thanks to another misfiring line out, allowing Worcester to clear their lines. Worcester were back on the scoreboard in the 69th minute through Sam Harper's try. Biggs' successful conversion added the extras for a 33-0 lead with ten minutes to play. A sixth try was scored after 73 minutes, as full back Paul Burton danced through a hole in the Kenilworth defence. Biggs was just wide of the uprights with his conversion attempt to leave the score at 36- as the match entered its final few minutes.
Despite the 38 point deficit, Kenilworth continued to search for a try, and it finally came in the 79th minute through Ryan Spriggs. A cross field kick from flanker Mikkel Andresen found some space on the left wing, inside Worcester's 22. Spriggs then collected the bouncing ball to dive over in the corner for a consolation try. Hickman's conversion was just shy of the uprights as the match ended in a 38-5 defeat for Kenilworth.