RUGBY UNION: BLUSTERY conditions greeted Kenilworth at the club started its competitive campaign with a Warwickshire Shield clash against Shipston-on-Stour.
And hard work in pre-season paid off as Kenilworth secured a 39-3 victory in the first round of the competition.
Both sides started enthusiastically, with Shipston showing a real willingness to commit to the tackle and carry at Kenilworth.
However, it was the visitors who settled down first, and after ten minutes both the forwards and backs drove at the Shipston defence.
Flanker Ollie Burman found a gap to dive over for the first, unconverted, try.
Shipston responded well and took the game to Kenilworth as their forwards drove hard while their backs displayed good use of the ball.
But Kenilworth’s defence stood firm, and slowly but surely pushed Shipston back towards their line.
A five-metre line out was secured by Kenilworth before Tommy Jones touched down for a second unconverted try.
The game evened out with neither side able to capitalise on presented opportunities.
Shipston then registered their first points when sustained pressure led to a penalty which was successfully converted just before half time.
Despite conceeding their first points at the end of the opening half, Kenilworth started the second half in fine style as Gareth Renowden crossed the line following a line-out.
From the restart, Kenilworth secured the Shipston kick off and, having sucked in the Shipston forwards, the ball was spun wide to Ed Hannam.
He ran through the Shipston defence, handing off tackle attempts and covering 70 metres on his way to scoring an excellent, unconverted try near the posts to extend the visitors’ lead.
With Kenilworth now in full control, it took just eight minutes for the Glasshouse Lane outfit to score again following a strong run from Hannam.
Skipper Thompson dived over the line for another unconverted try.
Though Shipston failed to give in, their efforts were in vain as Kenilworth crossed for their sixth try before Thompson kicked his first conversion of the game.
Kenilworth made it a magnificant seven shortly before the final whistle when Renowden scored his second marker of the day with Thompson again converting – Kenilworth winning 39-3.
Elsewhere, Kenilworth’s 2XV lost a closely contested match away to Earlsdon by 15-14.