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Home > News > Kenilworth 25 - Luctonians 25
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Your News Kenilworth 25 - Luctonians 25
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20
APR

Drama in the rain at Glasshouse Lane. At the conclusion of this pulsating, nail-biting encounter, from which both participants needed a point, Kenilworth to be sure of avoiding relegation from Midlands One, and Luctonians to reach the play-off for a place in the National League, the scores were indeed level. Moreover, in a sport where drawn games are a comparative rarity, this was the second of the season between the teams (writes Bob Jones).

Both sides opened keenly, and within two minutes the visitors had taken the lead with a penalty goal by scrum-half James, after the Ks had illegally held onto the ball. Five minutes later, and following an offside decision, Chris Brown replied in kind. The principal weapon of the impressive Herefordshire outfit was their powerful pack, with lock Brick and No 8 Hulland especially prominent. However, it was Kenilworth who scored next, when on 14 minutes, Dave Clements scooted over in the left corner for an unconverted try that was initiated by quick thinking and a tap penalty from Gareth Renowden. The visiting pack then turned the screw, and spent 10 minutes in and around the Kenilworth 22, winning a series of scrummages. The pressure told, and Hulland crossed for an unconverted try to level the scores. The Ks' own talisman, Mike Smith, was in the van of their forward drives. From one, quick thinking by Dom Carrick made ground to near the Lucts' 22, but a Renowden punt went straight into touch. The hard-working Matt Davies was forced to retire injured after 27 minutes, Rob Varney replacing him. This heralded a very difficult period for the Kenilworth pack. On the half hour, Mike Smith was yellow-carded for coming in from the side, and shortly afterwards, Andy Lawrence left the field with a nasty-looking blood injury, Ian Phillips coming on. Nonetheless, they held firm, and from one piece of possession, a neat kick ahead by Chris Brown saw Luke Brown narrowly fail to touch down before an opponent. Following the resulting five-metre scrum, and on the stroke of half-time, the visitors strayed offside in front of their posts, and Chris Brown once more edged the home side into the lead with a penalty goal.

Kenilworth, with another reshuffle in the pack, started the second half brightly, and Luctonians felt the force of two mighty Mike Smith charges. They weathered this storm and regained the lead with an unconverted try by left-winger Lilley on 10 minutes, after desperate defensive work finally came unstuck. The action swung end to end. The Ks mounted a superb attack, started by Chris Brown and carried on by Pete Roberts and James Hersey. Carrick, in support, just failed to finish the move as the line beckoned. Ian Fergusson then introduced his last replacement, Elliot Brown, in place of Carrick, with brother Luke entering the pack. At the outset, this seemed to have backfired, when a series of Luctonians' attacks ended in a try by centre Hewitt, which was converted by James. To compound the problem, Mike Smith was forced to leave the field with a leg injury after 25 minutes, reducing the Ks to 14 men for the rest of the game. The worries were unfounded. Andy Whitehall roared into gear with a great run, then a sublime move by the backs, with Chris Brown again the instigator and Roberts providing the thrust, led to a second try for Clements that the fly-half converted on the half-hour, to close the gap to two points. Not to be outdone, Lucts stormed back, and fully five minutes of pressure by their forwards gained them another unconverted try. Kenilworth were not finished either. They mounted a series of threatening attacks, from one of which Hersey lost the ball as he was about to cross the line. Reward came, when following a scrum to the visitors in their own 22, their clearance kick was gathered by Chris Brown. His clever punt rebounded from a Lucts man, such that he was able to gather the ball, surge past the hapless defender and score under the posts, then convert, to level the scores once more. A substantial slice of added time saw Luctonians camped in the Ks' 22 and throwing everything at them. However, their defence was superb, and when the ball squirted from a maul in the last play, the application of a Kenilworth boot sent it into touch to end a memorable encounter.

Kenilworth: Whitehall, L. Brown, Hersey, Roberts (Capt.), Clements, C. Brown, Renowden, N. Collett, Davies, Lawrence, Carrick, Careless, N. Smith, Nock, M. Smith. Replacements: Varney, Phillips, E. Brown.

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