KENILWORTH left things too late on Saturday as they suffered a 27-22 defeat to table-toppers Bridgnorth but their efforts were awarded with a bonus point at Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
The home side started well with both Rhys Jones and Mikkel Andersen coming close but it was Bridgenorth who took the lead with a penalty on ten minutes.
The visitors extended their advantage thanks to a try from full back Simon Fletcher and the simple conversion was successful to put Bridgnorth ten points in front with 15 minutes played.
Ollie Burman was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and Bridgnorth made the most of their man advantage and extended their lead further through a converted try after 20 minutes.
Kenilworth dug deep and pulled back seven points despite being down to 14 men thanks to a well worked attack which allowed skipper Bobby Thompson to cross and Josh Hickman was successful with the conversion.
Despite being restored to full numbers, Kenilworth extended their lead to 15 points with the half coming to a close but the home side scored their second try of the match after some good work in the scrum.
In the windy conditions, the ball blew off the tee just before it was to be kicked and great pressure from Hickman meant the drop conversion was charged down to prevent a seven point score, to leave the visitors with a 22-7 half time lead.
It was again Kenilworth who started more brightly after the break and they were soon back in the game when a fantastic kick over to the right corner from Gaz Renowden bounced perfectly for Joe Jepps to touch down on 43 minutes.
Hickman’s successful conversion reduced Bridgnorth’s lead to 22-14.
But a fourth try from Bridgnorth secured a bonus point for the visitors, with a kick through easily touched down in the right corner with 30 minutes remaining.
The next 20 minutes saw a period of real pressure from Kenilworth as they closed in on Bridgnorth’s 13-point lead.
A third try followed after 64 minutes with Joe Jepps collecting a loose ball on half way to run half the length of the pitch and score his second try.
And Hickman was once again on target on 72 minutes with a long range penalty from out wide to ensure a tense finish to match with the score at 27-22 to Bridgnorth.
But despite their best efforts Kenilworth could not find another breakthrough and this weekend they travel to Staffordshire to face fifth-placed Burton.