Nuneaton reach Cup final but Morgan says Kenilworth can be “proud” of performance
Kenilworth’s Warwickshire Cup campaign came to end at Broadstreet on Sunday after a 45-16 defeat to Nuneaton, with head coach Wayne Morgan saying his side should be “proud” of their efforts in the Cup semi final.
The opening quarter was a tight affair with Kenilworth more than holding their own against a side flying high in the league above as they went 3-0 ahead thanks to a penalty from Josh Hickman after 19 minutes.
Nuneaton responded just five minutes later with a try following a penalty kick to touch. The 5m line out resulted in a driving maul and they bundled over to take lead after 23 minutes. The conversion was successful to give them a 7-3 lead.
A second penalty from Hickman just two minutes later closed the gap to just one point before Nuneaton pulled away in the 15 minutes before half time.
Their second try was once again the result of a line out inside the Kenilworth 22 before a player broke away from the back of the maul to dive over the line for a converted score after 26 minutes.
Nuneaton’s third score of the afternoon saw their winger latch on to a grubber kick inside the Kenilworth 22 to touchdown. The extras were added from the tee before their fourth try came straight from the restart. This time the conversion was missed but it looked like Nuneaton would go into half time with a 26-6 advantage.
That was until Kenilworth crossed for their first try of the afternoon courtesy of scrum half Liam Leeson in the 39th minute. Some great hands from one side of the pitch to the other saw fly half Jamie Mapletoft put full back Ed Hannam into space on the left before Hannam was pulled down just inches from the line. However, Leeson was on hand to score the points, sneaking over from the base of the ruck. Hickman’s conversion was just wide to make the score 26-11 going into the break.
The second half got underway with Nuneaton starting the brightest, scoring a try after just four minutes of play. The ball was thrown out wide from a line out in the Kenilworth 22 and they touched down on the left to extend their lead, but the conversion attempt was just wide of the mark.
The subsequent 20 minutes saw both sides looking for the next score and it was Nuneaton who produced it after 64 minutes, touching down to the right of the uprights. The conversion made the score 38-11 but Kenilworth responded almost immediately. A maul followed a 5m line out in the Nuneaton 22 and the ball was driven over the line with flanker Mikkel Andresen the try scorer. Hickman was just off target with his conversion attempt and the score remained 38-16 to Nuneaton.
With the match entering it’s final stages, Nuneaton were on the scoreboard again, with their sixth try of the afternoon scored by the posts. The simple scoreboard gave a final score of 45-16 to Nuneaton who progress to the final of the Cup on Sunday 13th November.
Speaking after the match, Kenilworth head coach Wayne Morgan said: “Compared to where we’ve been the last few weeks, there are a lot of positives to take out of today’s game.
“I spoke last week about metal strength and I think we saw a bit of that today. The lads gave a good account of themselves and I think they should be proud seeing as Nuneaton are playing in the league above us.”
Video highlights HERE