LEAMINGTON/OLD LEAMINGTONIAN COLTS 12 KENILWORTH COLTS 71
What a contrast to Nuneaton the week before, this was a relentless performance in which every single Kenilworth Player contributed with considerable passion and commitment. The only downside of the afternoon was a very unfortunate injury sustained by hooker Jason Ford.
The opening exchanges of the game were fairly even although territorially Kenilworth were soon in the ascendancy, only 3 minutes in and the pick and go, offloading style was evident and with some astute kicking from Zak we were camped in their half, the pressure resulted in the opening Try with Dan Rink driving close to their line and off loading to Tom Clitherow, Zak converted and 11 minutes in 0-7. No let up from the restart and Kenilworth immediately returned to playing on the front foot with terrific driving play through the forwards - our dominance told with a second Try scored by Dan Rink and our forward momentum was irresistible. Conversion missed wide out and 13 minutes in 0-12 in front with every single player on top form. Leamington just don’t know how to respond - Zak very composed at 10, Tom and Hector dominating midfield and the back 3 of Romee, George and Will Field performing well.
20 minutes in and Jason sustained the injury to his ankle which is an absolute tragedy for the lad who has recently battled back from a serious knee injury and had become a first choice member of the squad at hooker. Darius took Jasons place and the game was postponed for a few minutes whilst we moved to an adjacent pitch. Big call to the lads to start where they left off and win it for Jase!
From the restarted game, good work from Darius, Ben, Cory Joy resulted in a Try for Matt Slater, successful conversion 0-19. All the lads thoroughly engaged in the game and playing some wonderful Rugby. Camped again in the Leamington half, Kenilworth utilised the wildcat move from a line out which resulted in Matt Slater crashing over in the corner, conversion missed wide out 0-24. Relentless again from the restart with our centres crashing through the middle of the park. In fairness to Leamington they never let their heads drop and they managed to exert some pressure on the Kenilworth line, our defence remained resolute though and we maintain our healthy, well earned lead. Some more good work from a quickly taken penalty put us back on the front foot, good continuity and off loading brought a penalty deep in their 22, quickly taken to Dan Rink who crashed over for the Try under the posts, Zak converts 0-31. We go in at half time, having weathered a Leamington revival, however, once again terrific tackling keeps Leams at bay and we relieve the pressure to maintain our 0-31 lead.
Changes at half time include Henry Scott taking over from Henry Cook, Cory drops to scrum half for Oscar Haines and Sam McKinnon moves to lock with James Ray dropping to the back row. A big call for continued effort and, from the kick off Romee was released for an excellent burst up the wing, the resulting interplay found Will Field coming in at a great angle to score a terrific Try, Zak kicks a great conversion to put us 0-38. From the restart, good take from Ben, sees Romee make another break and for a short period Leams come back into the game (to their credit). More stella work form Kenilworth, Mukhesher Gill on for Romee, makes a great break up the wing, with every Kenilworth player on top form, ball is continuously recycled and off loaded, with the Leamington defence scattered all over the pitch, Cory makes a terrific pick and go to coast over from a genuine team effort. 0-45. From the restart Leamington crafted an opportunist Try where we probably threw one too many loose passes - he intercepts and shows pace to score a converted Try 7-45.
A good response from Kens and an astute kick from Zak puts us deep into their 22, Leams clear their lines and for a few minutes we slip off the top of our game. However, this is short lived and we quickly get back onto the front foot, Jack Nicholls comes on, James Ray moves back into the Row and Ben Bosworth makes way. Great driving play and quick hands results in Jack Nicholls going close, good hands from the resulting possession brings another Matt Slater Try. 7-50, Kenilworth straight back into the Leams 22 and good close quarter passing finally results in a driving effort through the forwards - finally releasing Dan Rink (unstoppable from 3-4 metres out) who crashes over for a Try 7-57. Some outstanding interplay from the restart brings continued pressure onto the Leams line, the ever-present Matt Slater takes the final drive to score, excellent conversion from Zak - 7-64. From the restart Leams show considerable spirit and they manage to camp on our 22 for a few minutes, the pressure Leams exert brings them a second un-converted Try 12-64.
Will Field moves back into the centre for the final few minutes - taking Tom off, Will picks a lovely line of running off a solid scrummage to score a classic Try - the final score a dramatic 12-71.
Henry Scott played well on his debut for the Colts which bodes well for the future, however, the real story of the afternoon was the TEAM effort, all of our tries were as a result of genuine 1-15 effort. This sets a very high bench mark going forward and all the lads should feel very proud of their efforts, we wish a speedy recovery for Jason.