Kenilworth 87 Dunlop 5
AN EMPHATIC 15-try victory over the hapless, if spirited, whipping-boys of Midlands One West, ensured Kenilworth did all within their power to maintain momentum in their fight against relegation on Saturday.
However, the news that both Ludlow and Whitchurch, the other candidates for the remaining place below the trap-door, had won took much of the gloss off the result.
But Kenilworth can take heart in that two bonus-point wins in their final games, away at Whitchurch and Old Halesonians, could still see them avoid the drop.
Kenilworth opened the scoring after six minutes with Bobby Thompson, Nyle Beckett and Will Owen instrumental in setting up Jonny Cresswell who smashed his way over for an unconverted try.
With their opponents all-at-sea in defence, and with a creaking scrum, more points were soon to follow as Alex Selby applied the finishing touch to a drive by the pack.
An isolated attack by Dunlop resulted in a penalty for coming in from the side, but the kick was missed.
Andy Whitehall and Gareth Renowden combined to carve open the cover, and found Pat Jenkinson in support to cross for the third unconverted try after 17 minutes.
Another Whitehall break and offload to Jenkinson brought the flanker his second try five minutes later which George Trafford converted.
The pace of Beckett was proving a threat and it was no surprise that following good work by Chris Muncaster and Cresswell, he crossed for the first of his four tries, again unconverted, just after the half-hour.
To their credit, the visitors dug in, and by virtue of some better defensive work, prevented furher scores before the interval.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Phil Dickson seized the ball in his own half and proceeded to out-think and out-pace the cover en route to the line.
Not to be outdone, within a minute, Beckett received the ball in a similar position to Dickson and hared through for a touch-down. Rob Bennett kicked the conversion.
Dunlop responded with an unconverted try after a neat move in the Ks 22 but normal service was quickly resumed as Catalin Graur thundering over wide-right.
The floodgates well and truly opened. First, a break by Renowden paved the way for a try by Whitehall, Bennett adding the extras. Whitehall was then on hand to offload to Burrows, who crossed for an unconverted try on the left.
A sporadic break by Dunlop needed a fine tackle into touch to prevent their second try before the elusive Beckett went over twice in as many minutes, the second try converted by Bennett.
Dunlop’s plight was not helped by a yellow card for deliberate offside and the resulting penalty to touch by Whitehall saw a catch-and-drive by the pack, with Nick Collett touching down for an unconverted score.
The pace and guile of Whitehall was consistently opening up the defence. Owen was the next beneficiary, being on hand to take a scoring pass with Bennett adding the extras.
Renowden, whose skill and experience had also been to the fore, powered his way through some of his own, and all of the visitors half, for a final converted try.
Kenilworth visit Whitchurch this Saturday.
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