Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 11:31
Kenilworth 36 Upton on Severn 3
FLOODING at Upton forced the clash to be switched to Glasshouse Lane and Kenilworth took full advantage to beat the basement boys and maintain their Midlands Two West (South) title challenge.
Conditions were testing but Kenilworth adapted well and recorded a satisfying win which keeps them level on poinbts with leaders Old Laurentians.
Not surprising the early exchanges were tentative as both teams struggled to come to terms with the elements but that did not stop both sides making great efforts to produce some entertaining rugby against all the odds.
Indeed it was the visitors who produced the first real threatening move of the afternoon but the final pass went astray and Kenilworth cleared the danger.
A Renowden break in the other direction promised the first points but again the final pass did not go to hand and the chance went begging.
But after 15 minutes we had a clear example of how simplicity can pay dividends under such demanding conditions.
No 8 Ian Philips picked up the ball at the back of the scrum and found O’Brien running left. A well-timed pass to Tyler, who took the ball at pace on the left wing, saw the centre make 20 metres before slipping a pass to Middleton who finished well in the corner. O’Brien added the conversion.
Keniulworth spent the next ten minutes camped in the Upton 22 and the pressure was eventually rewarded when a tap penalty found Todd who touched down.
Openshaw was outstanding at the lineouts and, from one such set-piece, he won good ball to set up a driving maul from which the industrious Philips went over for a deserved try which O’Brien converted.
Upton hit back with a series of well-executed phases but for all their endeavour, three points were all they had to show for their first half efforts following a Kenilworth infringement at the ruck.
Kenilworth regained control in the second half as O’Brien put them in a great attacking position with a nudge to within 10m of the Upton line.
Another good take at the lineout saw the forwards advance towards the line with Lowthian taking the ball over to continue his impressive form and secure the bonus point.
Kenilworth had established a good rhythm and a touch-finder from Tyler saw another lineout taken by Openshaw to set up a rolling maul.
Again the tactic proved irresistible with the scoring honour going to Dodd who has had an impressive season.
The weather deteriorated with errors and injuries mounting but Kenilworth finished with a flourish.
After a series of penalties, captain Cresswell produced a bustling rush towards the line to score the final try which O’Brien superbly converted.
Kenilworth are due to visit Oadby Wyggstonians in the quarter finals of the Intermediate Cup this Saturday.
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