KENILWORTH produced a valiant second half fightback by scoring six tries after the break to earn a valuable bonus point away at rivals Bournville in the Midland One West division.
The visitors came back from 40-3 down at half time but were eventually beaten in a 16-try thriller on Saturday afternoon, writes Sophie Freestone.
The early phases saw Bournville attack the Kenilworth and after a lineout was driven deep inside the Kenilworth 22, full back Tom Jarvis was able to run in for the first try of the match on ten minutes which was successfully converted.
Kenilworth responded six minutes later with a successful penalty from fly half Josh Hickman, before Bournville capitalised on a loose ball to cross the whitewash and extend their lead to 12-3 with 20 minutes played.
The visitors were then unfortunate not to get a penalty for a very high tackle on Ed Hannam, before a late tackle from Hickman resulted in a yellow card for the Kenilworth stand off.
With 12 minutes of the first half remaining, Bournville made the most of their one man advantage by scoring four unanswered converted tries to secure a bonus point and extend their lead to 40-3 at half time.
Despite the large deficit, Kenilworth never gave up and eventually scored a try of their own as substitute Will Blundell broke through the Bournville defence to score the first of Kenilworth’s six tries.
Bournville then extended their lead with a try converted try on the left with half an hour to play before they were reduced to 14 men.
The visitors were quick to capitalise with number eight Kalum Goodfellow barrelling over on the left. The conversion was wide to leave the score at 47-15.
A third try soon followed with the handy footwork of Joe Jepps allowing the winger cross the line to close the gap by five points.
Despite having a man in the sin bin, it did not stop Bournville from extending their lead by seven points with 15 minutes remaining.
With a victory most likely out of Kenilworth’s reach at this stage of the match, the try bonus point was still very much up for grabs.
It was soon secured after a great run up the left wing from Rhys Jones, who made a nice pass to allow full back Jamie Mapletoft to cross in the corner.
After an action packed 70 minutes, the try scoring was not over. A ninth try from Bournville took the score to 61-25 before Hickman broke the line inside the Bournville to touch ball down at the base of the posts.
The simple conversion took the score to 61-32, before Bournville’s tenth and final try of the afternoon took their tally to 66 points on 78 minutes.
Just as the match was approaching 80 minutes, Hickman made a fantastic interception from inside his own half to score a converted try under the posts to end a breathtaking thriller.