WARWICKSHIRE SECOND XV CUP SEMI FINAL
SUTTON COLDFIELD 18 KENILWORTH 13
The delayed Warwickshire Cup semi final against Kenilworth took place on Sunday 23rd February 2014 at Walmley Road (mainly thanks to Sutton Coldfield).
Conditions were blustery but the pitch in superb condition thanks to the hard work of all the ground staff and supporters over the previous week.
Sutton played with the wind at their backs in the opening half and put Kenilworth under pressure from the kick off. The speed and ferocity of the tackling was superb and within 5 minutes Sutton were awarded a penalty only to see the wind grab the ball and push it wide. Sutton continued to press and penetration was gained from the SC front row forwards who put the home side in a good attacking position only to be thwarted from some good Kenilworth defence.
The pattern continued until the 14th minute when another opposition infringement gave fly half Morgan the chance to kick for goal; straight through the posts for Sutton to take a 0-3 lead.
The lead was short lived as some missed tackles saw a talented Kenilworth back line string some passes together and Kenilworth No6 Tommy Jones touched down in the corner for an unconverted try.
Sutton enjoyed a dominant phase in the match which saw breaks up the middle from the Sutton centre partnership only to be denied the final pass. Kenilworth were starting to infringe more at the rucks and the referee was forced into using his yellow card, not once but twice. The Sutton pack took advantage and scored two tries just before the break, and a 5-15 half-time lead.
In the second half Kenilworth used the wind to kick over the top, seeming to target Sutton but defence was the key and the back row trio were kept busy putting in the tackles. Kenilworth however were not to be denied another try and, through some battering ram work from their forwards, managed to touch down, again unconverted. 10-15
This was the pattern for the next 15 minutes with Kenilworth trying desperately to breach the Sutton line and with 65 minutes on the clock Kenilworth decided they needed points and took a well stuck drop goal. 13-15 with quarter of an hour to play!
The final quarter was a testament to the fitness and tenacity of the Sutton squad, they continued to try and use the ball and their talented back line to attack and forced their way into the Kenilworth 22. Kenilworth were up against it and a further infringement in the 75th minute gave the cool headed Morgan the chance to put 3 points on the board with a well struck penalty and 13-18.
The final five minutes saw resolute defensive work from both teams, when the final whistle sounded Sutton were victors with an 13-18 score-line and progress to a final against Pinley.