Cup run ends as Abbey overpower valiant Kenilworth
Kenilworth Ladies put in a valiant performance on Sunday as they suffered their first defeat since September against Reading Abbey, a side in the league above them, in the fourth round of the Junior Cup, writes Sophie Freestone.
Kenilworth started the brightest, applying significant pressure in the Abbey 22, before Alice Denton ripped the ball from the visitors and offloaded to Annette Tomas who scored under the posts for a 5-0 lead with eight minutes played. Abbey extended their lead on 15 minutes with a second try of the match, this time from Hayley Matthews after Dominique Felix broke through the Kenilworth defence. The conversion was on target to give the hosts a 12-0 lead after 16 minutes of play.
Although Abbey added to their opening scores with two further tries in the first half, Kenilworth put in a strong performance against the physical Berkshire side. Abbey’s third and fourth tries, both from Tomas, were converted to give the hosts a 26-0 lead heading into the second half.
The opening stages of the second half saw Abbey struggle to break down Kenilworth’s defence, but their fifth try of the afternoon eventually came after 45 minutes when flanker Annabel Hawkins went over. Tomas added a further two scores to take her tally to five before prop Hollie King completed the scoring for Abbey.
Kenilworth refused to give up however, and their persistence paid off in the 60th minute. A well worked team moved allowed Vicky Stokes to put Phoebe May Howles into space before the centre’s footwork saw her wrong-foot the Abbey defence to score. The conversion attempt fell short, but Kenilworth finished the match on a high, keeping the Abbey defence at bay for the final ten minutes.
With their Cup run now over, having bettered last season’s performance of reaching the third round, Kenilworth return to league action on Sunday when they welcome Longton to Glasshouse Lane.