KENILWORTH got their 2015/16 campaign underway in convincing fashion thanks to a 25-6 victory over Leek in the Midland 1 West league, reports Ralph Murray.
The hosts enjoyed the better of possession in the early stages but also took the lion’s share of the penalty count, which would become a trend for the rest of the afternoon.
The good early work by Kenilworth looked to have brought its first reward when winger Joe Yeomanson appeared to have grounded the ball in the corner but he was adjudged to have made touch prior to the act of scoring.
This, however, proved only a temporary stay of execution as the other winger Joe Jepps took the ball up strongly before being hauled down five metres short. Kenilworth recycled well and it was Jepps in the right place to record the first try of the season and Josh Hickman added two to give the home side a 7-0 lead.
Worryingly, half-back Alex Selby had received a blow to the head early and was correctly replaced but this forced an early reshuffle of the back division with Charlie Preston moving from centre to fly-half and Ed Holmes appearing in the centre.
Leek responded with some strong running but the Kenilworth defence was resolute and repelled all incursions, they did however pull three points back before half-time thanks to a penalty
The second half began with the penalty trend continuing but despite the discipline issues, Kenilworth exhibited real desire to keep the scoreboard active.
After conceding possession, the hosts won the ball back and Joe Jepps chipped the defender and gathered his own kick before being brought down shortly before the line.
But the Kenilworth support arrived in a hurry and skipper James Wadey eventually touched down for the second try of the afternoon.
With the game entering the final half-hour, Leek had a further successful penalty for 12-6 and were pressing mightily for their first try, but they were repelled by some outstanding defending.
Hickman added another three points to the Kenilworth total with a successful penalty and more Kenilworth pressure led to try number three with James Wadey crossing for his second of the afternoon. An ‘undecided’ conversion meant the score was now 20-6.
Leek had an air of urgency now and again produced a sustained period of pressure close to the Kenilworth line but they were let down by the final pass.
Kenilworth’s urgency was now to achieve a bonus point and they did just that when Gaz Renowden fell on a loose ball to score the final try of the match which was converted by Josh Hickman to wrap up a comfortable win.
Next up for Kenilworth is a trip to Silhillians this Saturday.