A SLOPPY Kenilworth performance away at Walsall saw Wayne Morgan’s side taste a 20-12 defeat, reports Sophie Freestone
An early penalty miss by the hosts was a warning sign for Kenilworth but Walsall winger Josh Williams scored soon after with a 50-metre sprint to the try line and the conversion put the hosts 7-0 up with 15 minutes gone.
Despite their impressive start, Walsall were soon down to 14 men after number eight Jeffery Williamson was sent to the sin bin.
In the immediate aftermath Kenilworth strung many phases together deep inside the Walsall half, but poor handling meant the ball went loose and Walsall regained possession.
Kenilworth came to finding a breakthrough when Gaz Renowden thought he had scored from a kick through but the try was disallowed.
With Walsall restored to their full compliment, a penalty extended their lead to ten points before Renowden did eventually cross the whitewash.
A great run up the middle from Kalum Goodfellow took play up to Walsall’s 22 before neat passing from Ollie Burman and Bobby Thompson gave Renowden the ball, allowing him to cross for Kenilworth’s first try on the stroke of half time.
The conversion was narrowly missed by Josh Hickman to give the home side a five point lead at the break.
With the second half underway, Walsall once again missed another opportunity to extend their lead by three points, before some sloppy defending from Kenilworth left another huge gap on the left for Walsall winger Williams to cross in the corner.
The successful conversion gave the hosts a 17-5 lead with half an hour to play.
There was more sloppy play from Kenilworth as the half continued with poor line outs and handling errors before winger Joe Jepps crept over on 59 minutes and Hickman’s successful conversion closed the gap to five points at 12-17.
As the match entered the final quarter Kenilworth looked to score a potentially match-winning try, but a Walsall penalty with five minutes remaining put the match just beyond Kenilworth’s reach as the home side secured their first home league win of the season.