Scoreline flatters Stratford in Warwickshire derby win over Kenilworth
Kenilworth suffered another defeat on Saturday but the 31-17 scoreline in Stratford’s favour was not a fair reflection of the tightly-fought contest.
The hosts got themselves off to the perfect start with a try after just three minutes. Stratford had a scrum inside their own half after a knock on from Kenilworth and they made the most of the visitors’ mistake, breaking up the left wing to allow Jack Young to score the game’s opening try. The subsequent conversion from Young opened up an early seven point lead for Stratford.
Kenilworth’s Josh Hickman and Stratford’s Young subsequently exchanged penalties midway through the opening forty before Stratford extended their lead as half time approached. Their second score of the afternoon was much the same as their first, as they took advantage of space on the left wing to extend their lead, this time through Andy Conway. Young’s conversion made the score 17-3 to Stratford with just three minutes of the half to play.
Stratford then nudged themselves further ahead after 50 minutes when Callum Cook scored his first try of the afternoon. Stratford were deep inside the Kenilworth 22 when the winger spotted space in the left corner before speeding around the Kenilworth defence to go over. Young’s conversion from the left touchline was once again on target to give his side a 24-3 lead with just under half an hour to play.
With 58 minutes on the clock, Stratford found themselves down to 14 men after one of their players was yellow carded when Kenilworth were inflicting a sustained period of pressure on the Stratford defence deep inside the visitors’ half. That pressure soon paid off, and Kenilworth made the most of their one man advantage, scoring in the corner to close the gap. Hickman’s excellent touchline conversion sailed through the uprights to make the score 24-10 and give Kenilworth everything to play for with 20 minutes to go.
Kenilworth continued their strong performance as the second half wore on, with with flanker Mikkel Andresen scoring just eight minutes after their first The visitors kept up the pressure in the Stratford 22 and Andresen put his foot down to score in the corner. Hickman was in fine form from the boot and another successful conversion made the score 24-17 with 12 minutes to play to give Kenilworth a real chance of taking something away from the match.
It wasn’t to be however, and Kenilworth were cruelly denied a losing bonus point thanks to a last minute score, once again from winger Callum Cook who just managed to sneak over in the corner. Young was on target with the touchline conversion to add gloss to a Stratford victory that was far tighter than the 31-17 scoreline suggests. The result means that Kenilworth remain bottom of the table, 14 points adrift of Crewe & Nantwich.
Kenilworth now go into the festive break before their first match of 2017 sees them host Sutton Coldfield at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday 7th January.
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