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Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 06/02 19:24
Kenilworth 16 Newbold 8
SLOW-starting Kenilworth maintained their Midland Two West (South) title challenge with a hard fought victory at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday which left them just one point behind leaders Old Laurentians.
The home side, returning to action following a two week break due to the weather, started lethargically and it was no surprise when they fell behind to an early penalty.
Newbold looked to have increased their advantage with a try in the corner but play was called back for an earlier infringement.
Kenilworth were on the back foot for much of the opening half-hour but their defence was resolute and well-drilled.
The match had been occasionally fractious and one such incident led to a Kenilworth penalty which led to No 8 Bobby Thompson going over for the first try of the afternoon.
Kenilworth increased their lead early in the second half with Tom Kendall landing a well struck penalty after the visitors had transgressed.
Newbold were still enjoying most of the possession and a clearance by Kenilworth produced one of the best plays of the match.
Gareth Renowden chased his own clearance kick and forced a turnover which Jimmy Middleton collected and found O’Brien backing up well. The fly-half found Beckett on the outside who looked to be heading for another score but the flyer was held up just short and the chance went begging.
Some promising Kenilworth attacks were being thwarted by handling errors, questionable defensive methods and some odd penalties.
Newbold also had their moments and the No 8 cut through the defensive line with a barnstorming run before putting the centre away for what looked like a certain score but the Ks defence held him up just short.
Kenilworth were back on the attack with Lowthian and Beckett combining to release Lane but the lock was halted feet from the line.
The home side enjoyed a prolonged spell of pressure which was eventually rewarded as Renowden marshalled the pack and chose his moment perfectly to take the ball from a maul and sneak in at the corner.
Kenilworth were guilty of some sloppy work in the closing stages which allowed Newbold to race in for a score but Kendall sealed victory by converting a penalty deep into stoppage time.
Kenilworth switch their attention to the RFU Intermediate Cup when they visit Oadby Wyggestonians for a regional quarter-final tie this Saturday.
The 3rds stretched their unbeaten home record by beating Earlsdon 32-21. Tim Wilson led the way with a hat-trick of tries to which Yann Lawrence and Adam Turner added. Chris Sibley slotted over a conversion and the haul was completed by a penalty try.
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