KENILWORTH ended a run of four defeats on Saturday as they earned a crucial bonus point in a thrilling 27-23 victory away to Crewe and Nantwich, writes Sophie Freestone.
It was Crewe that started the brightest as they made their way to the Kenilworth 22 inside two minutes but the visitors’ defence prevailed.
A clever kick up field from scrum half Gareth Renowden shortly followed, giving Kenilworth great field position from which they worked their way into the Crewe 22 through a good attacking move.
A penalty was the result of their efforts and Josh Hickman, starting his first match following injury, secured the points to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after ten minutes.
Shortly after the restart, Kenilworth were awarded another penalty but a missed kick to touch which proved costly as Crewe launched an attack up the left wing to score the opening try of the match to take a 5-3 lead.
Midway through the first half Kenilworth were on the attack again and were rewarded with a try on the left wing from hooker Rob Gardner after 20 minutes.
Dangerous play crept into Crewe’s game as they conceded a penalty for a high tackle, with one player also sent to the sin bin for a no-hands tackle.
Kenilworth were unable to make the most of their one man advantage however, as Crewe kicked a penalty to leave the scores level at the break.
The visitors came out firing at the start of the second half as they scored two tries in five minutes through Gareth Renowden and then Ed Hannam to give them a comfortable 20-8 lead with just over half-an-hour to play.
Crewe responded well however with a penalty and a try of their own as they clawed their way back to within two points of Kenilworth with 25 minutes to go.
Both sides had attacking opportunities going into the final quarter, but it was Crewe that made them count.
The hosts scored a try shortly after Kenilworth missed the opportunity to extend their lead with a penalty and with just seven minutes to go Crewe had a narrow three-point lead.
But Kenilworth did not give up and after a kick from Gareth Renowden had resulted in a lineout inside the Crewe half, flanker Josh Fox went over in the corner with four minutes remaining.
Josh Hickman’s excellent touch line conversion followed to secure a much needed and well deserved bonus point victory.