National Plate 3rd Round
Kenilworth travelled the short distance to Tiddington for a keenly anticipated National Plate tie but cruelly came up short despite having outscored the hosts by three tries to two.
The opening sorties by both sides were rather frantic and the game gave little in terms of cohesion owing to a heady mix of testosterone and a reluctance by the official to let the game flow. However, Kenilworth were first to settle and from a tap penalty Selby forced his way over in the corner for the opening score. Prince missed the wide angled conversion. This settled early
nerves for the K’s and they were soon playing their usual game, mixing it up between forwards and backs. Prince was beginning to release his backs with Yeomanson prominent in the centre and it was no surprise when the latter went over after a strong run to take the score to 10-0.
Prince added the conversion to make it 12-0.
Wellesbourne upped their game and began to use their speedy backs to good effect aided by some less than clinical Kenilworth defending and they pegged Kenilworth back with a try under the sticks just before half time to make the interval score 12 -7.
The half time team talk pressed home the need to start the second half with structure and cool heads but it was Wellesbourne who gained the next score, racing away down the right within minutes of the restart to score another 7 pointer. And it was the home side who had the lion’s share of the next twenty minutes where a penalty was kicked to seemingly take the game away from the K’s at 17-12 to Wellesbourne
However, the never say die spirit of the boys shone through and the last 15 minutes was all Kenilworth. Having had one apparently legitimate try ruled out, the forwards drove over in the
corner through Jenkinson to give Selby the chance to take Kenilworth into the lead with a testing conversion. His kick, however, drifted across the posts.
Wellesbourne, with their only foray of note in the last quarter, came away with a three pointer after K's were adjudged to have collapsed a scrum on their own feed - 20-17 to Wellesbourne. But back came Kenilworth from the kick off with some excellent driving play and the sniff of an overlap which was spurned for the bosh, not for the first time.
On the stroke of full time and with the referee signaling last play, K’s were awarded an eminently kickable penalty. A successful kick and a 20-20 draw would see the tie awarded to Kenilworth by virtue of having scored three tries to two. As the skipper summoned up the
breath to call ‘take three’ an impetuous teenage moment of madness intervened with a tap penalty and a wayward pass into fresh air. Wellesbourne snaffled up the loose ball and gleefully cleared to touch to secure the tie by three points.
Such are the margins in sport. Well done, however, to all the boys who played some excellent rugby and never gave less than their all.