Old Halesonians 14 Kenilworth 0
RELEGATION from Midlands One was confirmed at the splendid Wassell Grove headquarters of Old Halesonians on Saturday.
Compared to the previous week’s performance at Whitchurch, this was a marked all-round improvement by Kenilworth, against a team who finished third in the table.
The visitors defence was caught napping straight from the start and Old Halesonians took full advantage to open the scoring with a converted try.
It left the few visiting supporters fearing the worst but, with the return of Gareth Renowden to his normal position at scrum-half plus the inclusion of wily old campaigner Jamie Peacock at full-back, playing an important role, Kenilworth, while creating little, did a more than adequate job of containing the stream of attacks that materialised during the first quarter.
For the remainder of the half, they posed more of an attacking threat, with a typical Bobby Thompson surge and Renowden break, the highlights.
The Old Halesonians forwards began to turn the screw, notably in the tight, in the early stages of the second half.
Increasingly forced to live off scraps as a result, Kenilworth did well when opportunities arose.
A Nyle Beckett dash, carried on by Will Owen and Ross Lowthian but the promising move ended with a penalty to Old Hales for not releasing, while a tap-and-go, orchestrated by Jonny Openshaw and Jonny Cresswell, induced panic in the home ranks.
The Worcestershire outfit were always likely to engineer a good move, usually via their pack, and one such was thwarted by a timely Peacock intervention.
As the game entered its final quarter, the classiest break of the contest came from Owen.
Receiving the ball in his own 22, he employed the full skill-set in progressing to near the home equivalent. With the cover closing in, a deft punt saw Adam Clifford in hot pursuit, but the ball went forward as the line beckoned.
With a prolonged hail-storm in full flow, the error and penalty count continued to mount but pressure in the set-piece eventually led to a second try for Old Halesonians.
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