RUGBY UNION: KENILWORTH secured an all-important bonus point on Saturday as they were beaten 14-8 by Dudley Kingswinford at Glasshouse Lane, writes Sophie Freestone.
The last time these two sides met saw Kenilworth suffer a heavy 58-3 defeat back in November but there was no such repeat in the return fixture as the Glasshouse Lane outfit put in a much improved performance.
The home supporters could have been forgiven for thinking this match would go the same way as that November contest however, when Dudley took a seventh-minute lead after just two minutes.
Despite conceding an early score, Kenilworth showed their attacking threats on a number of occasions in the opening quarter. They were unfortunate not to convert their opportunities into points, with handling errors preventing the hosts from asserting themselves on the score board.
Dudley then doubled their lead after 20 minutes with a converted try after a powerful drive from the pack. A 5m scrum was impressively pushed over the line allowing the number eight to touch down. The conversion gave the visitors a 14-0 lead.
Some excellent handling from Kenilworth then took the hosts up to the Dudley 22, with Rajvir Bahey on hand to put their first points on the board, Josh Hickman’s conversion drifted to the right of the uprights to leave the score at 14-5 to the visitors.
With eight minutes to play before half time, Dudley found themselves down to 14 men as the heavens opened above Glasshouse Lane. Kenilworth were unable to capitalise on their one man advantage, however, and went into the break with an eight-point deficit.
In contrast to the first half, it was Kenilworth that started the second forty the brightest. Dudley were penalised for being off their feet and Hickman duly ensured that his side came away with the three points to crucially close the gap to six points.
As the match entered the closing stages, Kenilworth continued their search for the match-winning try with fly half Harry O’Brien putting in an accurate kick to touch to take his side up to the Dudley 22. They couldn’t make the most of their strong field-position however, and Dudley held onto the ball as the clock ticked down to secure a 14-8 victory.
Kenilworth’s next fixture sees them travel to Hereford on Saturday before they return to Glasshouse Lane on March 25 to face Worcester Wanderers.