RUGBY UNION: KENILWORTH returned to winning ways on Saturday with a nerve-wracking 21-18 victory over Nuneaton Old Edwardians, writes Sophie Freestone.
The result ensures pressure remains on second placed Malvern, who sit nine points clear of Kenilworth – though the Glasshouse Lane outfit have a game in hand.
Having gone behind after 13 minutes to a penalty from the hosts, Kenilworth took the lead six minutes later when Charlie Stevens finished off a well-worked move following a five metre scrum.
Alex Selby added the extras to give his side a 7-3 advantage.
In a match where opportunities were few and far between, Kenilworth were unable to build on their lead and 34 minutes were on the clock before Nuneaton Old Edwardians closed the gap.
The hosts had a line out just five metres from the Kenilworth line and the subsequent driving maul saw them cross the whitewash for their first try of the match. The conversion nudged the hosts into a one-point lead.
Nuneaton’s continued efforts were rewarded on 37 minutes when Kenilworth were penalised for entering the maul from the side. The hosts added the extras for an 11-7 lead at the break.
Kenilworth regained the lead shortly into the second half when Mikkel Andresen touched down. Substitute Simon Tyler made no mistake with the conversion to give the hosts a 14-11 lead with just over 30 minutes to play.
Possession ebbed and flowed between the two sides but neither was able to capitalise until the 58th minute when Kenilworth crossed for their third try of the afternoon.
David Bromfield was on hand to touch down by the posts after Andresen made a trademark break, barging through the hosts’ defence.
Tyler was again on target with the conversion as Kenilworth held a ten-point cushion going into the final quarter.
Despite their 21-11 lead Kenilworth were unable to add to their tally for the match, instead allowing Nuneaton Old Edwardians to come back and set up a grandstand finish at Weddington Road.
The hosts closed the gap with 70 minutes on the clock thanks to a superb length-of the field try from centre Craig Jones.
Nuneaton continued to apply pressure in Kenilworth’s 22, but valiant defending from the visitors ensured Nuneaton Old Edwardians didn’t cross for the crucial score.
Kenilworth are next in action on Saturday as they travel to Evesham in a rearranged fixture.