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Home > News > Sutton Coldfield 62 - Kenilworth 0
Your News Sutton Coldfield 62 - Kenilworth 0

Lacking about half of their first-choice players through a combination of injury and unavailability, a visit to the Roger Smolden Ground to face the hitherto unbeaten league leaders in Midlands One West, in what doubled as a Quarter-Final tie of the Warwickshire Cup, cannot have been an inviting prospect for struggling Kenilworth. However, the result, while both predictable and emphatic, did not do justice to a never-say-die effort, which prevented the first score by a Sutton Coldfield side, outstanding in all aspects of the game, until early in the second quarter (writes Bob Jones).

The opening exchanges were scrappy and overall fairly even but it was the home side who were posing the more serious questions. A fine clearance by Andy Whitehall, who had an outstanding game at full-back, and a great tackle by Chris Wood, were needed to prevent the first score. The Ks, as was to be the case throughout, could not get much ball, and when they did, failed to find a way past a very tight defence. A tap-and-go by Rhys Llewellyn was the best effort. With all the advantages, including a formidable physical presence, it was only a matter of time - 24 minutes to be precise, before Sutton opened their account. A neat move was finished by their outstanding No 8 Mark Evans, who along with excellent scrum-half Mark Raynor, called the shots all afternoon, Dan Poulton converting the try. It took just two minutes to double the lead. This time a sweeping move sent in winger Robert Watts, with Poulton again adding the extras. Prop Brook Davies then nearly charged over and another brilliant clearance by Whitehall, who judged a bitterly-cold, strong cross-wind to perfection, saved the day. A neat break by Will Owen was all that the Ks could muster in response but the ball went forward. Chris Muncaster was forced to retire with a blood injury after 34 minutes, Ross Lowthian replacing him. Just prior to the half-time whistle, after the visitors defence had been pulled apart, there was a queue waiting for the scoring pass. It was received by centre Jonny Raistrick, whose touch-down was improved by Poulton.

A 21-point deficit at the start of the second half gave a glimmer of hope of damage-limitation to the Glasshouse Lane brigade. This was soon extinguished by three minutes of rampaging rugby by the home side, during which they posted three tries, one converted, by moving the ball wide, demolishing the cover at will and thereby bringing up their half-century. Wood was replaced by Jake Povey, whose combative style sparked a mini-revival and some go-forward, but once more, nothing tangible accrued. That was about it for attacks and the remainder of the contest saw Kenilworth either chasing shadows or mounting heroic defence as Sutton poured forward from all angles. An unconverted try on 18 minutes and a converted one two minutes later added to the gloom. For the final 10 minutes, Bobby Thompson was withdrawn in favour of Max Povey. Play was almost all confined to the Kenilworth 22, and it was no surprise when this pressure was rewarded by two more tries, the last converted. What had otherwise been a game played in good spirit, ended in an unseemly brawl. Referee Dave Huson, who controlled events well, administered a warning to both captains before sounding the final whistle.

Kenilworth: Llewellyn, Cresswell (Capt), Muncaster, Lane, Openshaw, Andrews, Thompson, Wood, Bowden, Purewal, Beckett, Owen, Gibson, Clifford, Whitehall. Replacements: Lowthian, J Povey, M Povey.

Next Saturday (28 January), Walsall are the visitors to the Jack Davies Memorial Ground. The game (under floodlights) kicks off at 3pm.

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