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Home > News > Kenilworth 38 - 21
Your News Kenilworth 38 - 21

Mission accomplished. In spite of a lapse in the final 10 minutes that saw one of the contenders for the play-off spot in Midlands One, post two converted tries, to give them a rather flattering scoreline, Kenilworth put in a splendid all round performance that keeps their hopes of remaining in the top flight of regional rugby alive (writes Bob Jones).

With a strong wind in their favour, Kenilworth opened brightly, Nick Smith kicking ahead to within the Longton 22. Further pressure near the visitors' line resulted in a penalty award, which was uncharacteristically missed by Chris Brown on the five-minute mark. The fly-half was soon in running action, sending James Hersey away, but the ball ended in touch. Mike Smith, who was immense at No 8 for the Ks, drove upfield before Hersey once more charged towards the Longton line. The first score came on 10 minutes. Mike Smith ripped the ball clear of a maul, Nick Smith took it on, before it was secured by Scott Clendenning-Fenton, who chipped ahead for Andy Whitehall to gather and dive over for an unconverted try. Thus far, Longton, save for an interception and a couple of drives by their pack, were hardly in the game. Some great tackling, with Nick Smith particularly prominent, saw to that. Thereafter, their elusive left-winger Chris Tennuci threatened a couple of times with darting runs, a splendid Whitehall tackle ending the latter of these. The men from Trentham Lakes lost their No 10, McDermott, to the sin-bin after 32 minutes, for holding onto the ball, as the Ks poured forward in a dangerous position. While he was side-lined, Luke Brown, who had joined a rolling maul outside the Longton 22, was able to touch down as their opponents crumbled. Chris Brown added the extras. Just prior to the interval, Luke Brown stormed away, Hersey collected and broke, before releasing to Chris Brown, who crossed, then converted. In the substantial period added by referee Lee Towers, a scintillating run to the line by Gareth Renowden was finished in style by Rupert Cooper. Chris Brown again converted, to make the score 26-0 at half-time.

The second half commenced with determined runs by Clendinning-Fenton, Mike Smith and Whitehall, to within a whisker of the Longton line. Clendinning-Fenton, incisive in attack, embarked on another foray before finding Chris Brown. Pete Roberts, on his shoulder, was unstoppable. The try was unconverted, but the lead had been stretched after just two minutes. On 10 minutes, an injury to Andy Lawrence neccessitated a reshuffle in the pack. Nick Smith went to hooker, Matt Davies to prop and Francis Nock to the back row. It was still all Kenilworth, with Hersey and Nock both going close after clever work. A solitary breakout by Longton ended with a dropped ball beneath the home posts, as three unmarked men waited for the scoring pass. Reward did come for them after 20 minutes, when a weak tackle by Clendenning-Fenton allowed Tennuci to streak away for a try that Swetman converted. The full-back redeemed himself three minutes later, storming over for a converted try after yet another telling break by Hersey. On 25 minutes, Ian Fergusson replaced Roberts with Alex Taylor and Clendenning-Fenton with Jez Noon. Ten further minutes of Kenilworth pressure ended abruptly. Longton ran in two well-executed tries in the time remaining. The first was by McDermott, the second Swetman, who converted them both, to make the final tally 38-21.

Kenilworth: Clendenning-Fenton, L. Brown, Hersey, Roberts (Capt.), Whitehall, C. Brown, Renowden, N. Collett, Davies, Lawrence, Phillips, Careless, N. Smith, Cooper, M. Smith. Replacements: Taylor, Noon, Nock.

Next Saturday, (8th March), Kenilworth continue their quest for league survival with a visit to South Leicester. Kick-off is at 3pm. Prior to that, however, they take on Broadstreet in the semi-final of the Warwickshire Cup at Leamington on Wednesday, 5th March. Kick-off is at 7.30 pm.

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