Kenilworth power past Whitchurch on windy Glasshouse Lane afternoon
Kenilworth secured a 25-15 victory over Whitchurch on Sunday to secure their first win of the season and move them off the bottom of the Midlands 1 West league table, writes Sophie Freestone..
Having lost all of their opening three matches, Kenilworth were looking to get their season back on track in front of a large home crowd following the Former Players’ Lunch, and they did just that.
The first half remained scoreless until there were 26 minutes on the clock when number eight Bobby Thompson scored the first try of the afternoon. An excellent touch finder from fly half Harry O’Brien gave Kenilworth a 5m line out and the pack drove the rolling maul over the line for Thompson to score. Josh Hickman’s conversion was just wide of the uprights during windy conditions to give the home side a 5-0 lead midway through the first half.
With the opening forty drawing to a close, it was Kenilworth who extended their lead when flanker Mikkel Andresen found space to score his first try of the match. Hickman’s conversion attempt was just wide of the uprights again although the extras would have been added on a less blustery day.
With Whitchurch only able to respond with a solitary penalty, Kenilworth went into half time with a well-deserved 10-3 advantage.
The opening minutes of the second half saw possession swing between the two sides but it was Kenilworth who drew the first blood of the final forty. Hickman was on target with superb kick, from distance, to extend his side’s lead to 13-3 with 55 minutes played.
Their lead was then increased just two minutes later with a second try from Andresen, who made a superb break up the left wing to cross the whitewash from 50 yards out. The wind got the better of Hickman’s conversion for the third time in the match to leave the score at 18-3.
Whitchurch did manage to close the deficit by seven points as the match entered the final 10 minutes with a penalty try awarded after Kenilworth were penalised at the maul. However, Kenilworth struck back to cancel out the visitors’ score with Andresen crossing to complete his hat trick after running a great line from just outside the 22.
That score, with just three minutes to play, secured the four-try bonus point for Kenilworth before Hickman’s conversion sailed through the uprights give the hosts’ a much-needed 25-15 victory. The Glasshouse Lane outfit now sit in tenth in the league with seven points on the board.
Speaking to GlasshouseTV, head coach Wayne Morgan said: “I thought that, certainly in the first two games we played, we deserved more, but this weekend it was a real pleasure go out and see the lads perform.
“I think we played in such a way that we had good shape and played in the right areas of the park. I’m more pleased for the players that things worked out today.
“I thought Mikkel was outstanding today.I felt that he really did a hard shift and got the reward from it.”
Hear what Wayne Morgan and Mikkel Andresen had to say after the match on GlasshosueTV by clicking here.
Piccies of the Whitchurch game (credit: Stuart Haywood-Higham) can be found via: http://stuhh.smugmug.com/Sports/KRFC-1st-Team-photos-23092016/n-X9SLgp