Rugby Union
Battling display is not enough

01/02 Updated: 08/02 11:12

Kenilworth 7 Walsall 45

YET AGAIN Kenilworth could not be faulted for effort but fell well short of their better-organised and more experienced Midlands One West opponents at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday.

Denied the ball for long periods they were forced to live off scraps and failed to ease their relegation fears.

Walsall opened strongly with smart fly-half Wood, wily lock Tierney and energetic No 8 Fitzgerald controlling much of their play.

It was no surprise when following a series of drives by their pack, which had the upper-hand all afternoon, and a five metre scrum,Tierney was on hand to touch down, with Wood adding the extras after 13 minutes.

Four minutes later, Fitzgerald capped a slick move with a try in the right corner, once again improved by Wood.

The Ks managed a brief response and gained a penalty which Simon Tyler sliced wide of an upright.

The visitors soon regrouped and it took a good tackle from Nyle Beckett to halt a threatening attack.

It was then the turn of Andrew Whitehall to clear danger after winger Turner had torn a hole in the home defence.

Walsall pressure was relentless and, prior to half-time, they posted two more converted tries from flanker Hickman and Wood.

A determined run by Dominic Sheehan opened the second period but Walsall were soon into their stride, with both forwards and backs interpassing with pace and poise.

Their pack was especially effective and following three bullocking drives close to the Kenilworth line, prop Fitzgerald crashed over for an unconverted try after 52 minutes.

A Tyler tackle saved a certain try as Wood was weaving his way through the defence, while Bobby Thompsons surge gave hope of some following phases but he was engulfed by the cover.

Matters got a little heated up-front and resulted in Rhys Llewellyn and Walsall hooker Scott being lectured by referee Marcus Greenway.

Scott then burrowed over for another unconverted try, before resuming hostilities with Llewellyn, which earned them both a sin-binning.

Just about the one piece of slack play by the visitors enabled the alert Chris Wood to intercept and race clear for a consolation 72nd minute try that Tyler converted.

Heartened by this, the Ks enjoyed their best spell with Catalin Graur and Ross Lowthian prominent.

But Walsall had the last word when yet another good move was finished by scrum-half Pittaway with Wood converting.

Kenilworth travel to Bournville this Saturday (2.15pm).

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