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Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 09/01 15:32
Leamington 15 Kenilworth 26
TITLE-chasing Kenilworth recorded a bonus point victory in a keenly contested Midlands Two West (South) local derby at Moorefields on Saturday.
The success leaves second-placed Kenilworth level on points with leaders Old Laurentians, while relegation-threatened Leamington are still searching for a confidence boosting victory which will surely not be too far away if they continue to produce performances of this calibre.
Kenilworth opened the scoring when Jake Dodd fielded a clearance kick and moved forward before setting up Simon Tyler who ran in for a try against his former club from 15 metres which Tom Kendall converted.
Spa responded with a good spell of pressure during which Tom Jewitt and Patch Northover were prominent but yet again they failed to transfer it into points.
It proved costly as Kenilworth increased their advantage on the half hour when front rower Ross Lowthian continued his impressive form by showing great agility to beat three defenders and slide over for a try. Kendall added the extras
The home side hit back strongly and a spell of concerted pressure was eventually rewarded when Jewitt slotted over a penalty which reduced the interval arrears to 14-3.
Leamington started the second half brightly with Nick Maxwell, Craig Smith and Jack Secher combining well at pace but the final pass went astray and a good opportunity disappeared.
Kenilworth extended their lead with some excellent play at the base of a scrum from the fleet-footed Gareth Renowden who darted in under the posts for a try which Kendall converted.
Spa responded by producing a flowing move in which Northover, Gareth Shuttleworth and Alex Carroll were heavily involved which ended in Secher scoring close to the posts. Jewitt added the conversion.
But home joy proved short-lived as Kenilworth surged forward from the restart and Jimmy Middleton dived over for the bonus point try.
Leamington, belying their lowly league position, dominated the final quarter with Maxwell, Tom Greevy and Danny Phillips securing plenty of possession but the visitors defence proved resolute.
Spa eventually found a way through in the 65th minute when Greevy and Richard Valentine linked up well to force a five metre scrum. It led to a penalty and Carroll set up Greg Melville for a try in the corner.
But Kenilworth held on despite a yellow card for Renowden in the closing stages.
Kenilworth entertain fourth placed Kidderminster this Saturday, while Spa, who are just one place off the foot of the table, visit rock-bottom Upton.
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