Kenilworth reign supreme at Dudley Kingswinford
Kenilworth Ladies made it two from two in 2017 with a hard fought 10-0 victory in muddy conditions at Dudley Kingswinford to cement their position at the top of the league, writes Sophie Freestone.
In such conditions it was never going to be a game for the backline, with handling made difficult thanks to a slippy ball, and the forwards put in a superb shift to help their side carve out a well deserved victory.
Despite the conditions being less than favourable for the backs, they played a crucial role in Kenilworth’s first try of the afternoon with 23 minutes played. After multiple phases of slow ball, and powerful drives from the pack, the ball came out to the backs who made an excellent break to gain valuable field position in Dudley Kingswinford territory. The ball was then recycled quickly before scrum half Rebecca Lane popped it to back row Jodie Turpin who ran a great line and powered her way through the Dudley Kingswinford defence to score. The conversion attempt was just wide of the mark and Kenilworth went in at half time with a 5-0 advantage.
The second half saw Kenilworth spend a considerable amount of time camped in the Dudley Kingswinford half, but a number of penalties were conceded as the hosts continually staved off the Kenilworth attack.
With the match entering the final fifteen minutes, the ball popped out of a ruck on the half way line allowing Kenilworth prop Lydia Furse to scoop it up and break through the opposition’s defence. The ball was once again recycled quickly with Lane drawing her player before shifting it to fly half Vicky Stokes. Centre Felicity Baldwin was then on hand to receive the ball from Stokes who had drawn the Dudley Kingswinford defence. Baldwin subsequently stepped past a defender, brushed off her tackler and sprinted over the line to score to the left of the posts. The conversion was off target to leave the score at 10-0 heading into the closing stages.
Dudley Kingswinford then applied some serious pressure to the Kenilworth try line, but the visitors’ defence was too strong for the hosts to breach. Kenilworth held the ball up before winning a penalty that allowed them to clear their lines.
The final whistle eventually blew after a prolonged period of play that concluded with a knock on as the match saw Kenilworth wrap up yet another victory in what is fast becoming an incredibly impressive first season in the league system. The Ladies are now on 37 points from 10 matches, 10 points clear of second-placed Aston Old Edwardians.