With a number of changes including returning players from injury and missing players in the front row the Kenilworth 2XV maintained their excellent form with a disciplined hard working victory over a sizeable Pinley side which was a mix of 1sts and 2nds.
Kenilworth started of smartly with a number of strong carries and quick ruck ball which characterised much of the afternoon. One such carry from the returning Chris Wood back from his 5th holiday of the season resulted in the evergreen Jai Purewal cantering in for the opening try which was converted by the metronomic James Peacock. Under some pressure in the scrums, No 8 Jake Povey worked tirelessly to ensure the dangerous K's backline received a good supply of cleanish ball. With Kenilworth reacting sensibly to the somewhat eccentric (in)decision making of the referee Pinley's discipline suffered and Peacock slotted a couple of straightforward penalty goals to keep the score ticking over.
Luke Brown soon introduced himself to the Pinley midfield with some trademark thundering charges one of which resulted in a missed tackle and with a change of pace (up instead of down this week) the next try was scored, again converted by Peacock.
The introduction of Rhys Jones saw the withdrawal of a strangely out of sorts Andy Fox at full back and he found solace running the line in the shadow of Wyken's plush boulevards with a Marlboro light in hand.
An injury to the hardworking Lloyd Phillips saw Purewal step up to the breach and join the back row and new Uni winger Tim make his 2XV debut which was characterised by some elusive running and some unwelcome pre match nausea.
A shoulder injury to a home player caused a 15 minute delay in proceedings which seemed to fire the home side up in more ways than one and after another "interesting" refreeing decision they barrelled over for a try. Tempers were beginning to fray and the home skipper soon spent time in the bin for dissent which was topped by one of his replacements getting a red for a similar bout of petulance.
During these more intense stages K's hooker Tom Grew and prop Ross Lowthian put some strong hits in to shore up the defence. Fly half Max Povey is improving week by week and is certainly turning into an accomplished 2XV player alongside his brother and he began to peg the home side back into their defensive third of the pitch. From a defensive scrum the ever alert Peacock pickpocketed the home scrum half and glided in for an opportunist score which he naturally converted with aplomb from wide out.
The Kenilworth line out had become stronger throughout the game both through the abrasive Rick Smith at the front who had a fine game overall and the towering Wood and it was from his clean take and several phases of quick ruck ball that Wood himself was able to canter over for his try - again converted by Peacock.
The final try came from Ross Lowthian who when not chasing down kicks to his won line and working hard out of position at tighthead, was found loitering on the left wing by the observant Peacock. Lowthian crashed over but the score was not converted by scattergun Peacock who was soon replaced by skipper Ian Bowden.
The final score was 39-12 and this Kenilworth side is hitting a fine vein of form ahead of the County Cup game against old rivals Broadstreet on 20th November. Many players have stood out over the past few weeks and selection may prove difficult for skipper Bowden and his wise lieutenants.
By Dominic Carrick