KENILWORTH secured back-to-back wins in Midlands 1 West after blowing away Dudley 27-17 on a windy afternoon at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday, reports Sophie Freestone.
The hosts started the brightest of the two teams and after stealing an early line-out on three minutes, the subsequent play led to a Kenilworth penalty inside their own half which was missed by Josh Hickman.
After a second missed penalty, Kenilworth’s pressure paid off as they crossed for the opening try of the match.
A quick take at a line out inside Dudley’s 22 found its way to new recruit Josh Fox who dived over the whitewash and the successful conversion from Hickman gave the hosts a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A penalty from Hickman three minutes later extended their lead to ten points before Dudley responded with a penalty of their own to record their first points on the board.
It was only a matter of time however before Kenilworth extended their lead with Fox adding to his earlier score after a great break down the left wing to give the hosts a 15-3 lead right on the half-hour mark.
As the first half drew to a close Kenilworth continued to attack and after some heavy pressure Mikkel Andresen crossed for try number three and although the conversion was missed, the hosts still had a healthy 17-point lead at the break.
The difficult weather conditions continued as the second half began and things went from bad to worse for the visitors when they were reduced to 14 men.
Kenilworth earned a penalty after some good attacking play and an excellent run from Andresen resulted in a kickable penalty which the strong wind once again dragged wide of the posts.
With Dudley restored to 15 men it was then Kenilworth’s turn to play ten minutes with a man down as Ollie Burnham was sent to the sin bin for using his hands in a ruck.
Despite their disadvantage, it was Kenilworth who remained on top and they claimed a bonus point when after winning a 5metre scrum the ball was popped up to captain Bobby Thompson who crossed for the first points of the half on 70 minutes.
Hickman duly converted to give Kenilworth a strong 27-3 lead with just five minutes to go.
Two late tries from Dudley closed the gap to ten points but it was ultimately a comfortable victory for Kenilworth.
The bonus point win leaves Kenilworth in eighth position in the league and level on points with Hereford who they travel to this weekend.