KENILWORTH returned to winning ways on Saturday with a well deserved 16-5 victory over promotion seeking Hereford in the Midland 1 West division, writes Sophie Freestone.
It was a welcome victory for Kenilworth who had suffered heavy defeats in both of their previous two away matches, which included a 45-10 defeat away to Hereford just three weeks before this latest encounter,
The match started perfectly for hosts with a try after just six minutes. Winger Charlie Preston broke through the Hereford defence and brushed off two defenders to score on the right and Hickman was on target with the conversion.
The match remained scoreless until just before the half-hour mark, with Hereford missing a number of opportunities to level the scores through handling errors and a strong defensive effort from Kenilworth.
The visitors eventually scored a try of their own in the right hand corner but the difficult conversion was pulled wide of the uprights to keep Kenilworth ahead with a two point advantage.
With the end of the first half fast approaching, Hereford again butchered opportunities to take the lead and Hickman made them pay for their mistakes with a penalty on 38 minutes followed by a second on the stroke of half time.
Kenilworth made a strong start to the second half but had to wait until the 60th before they could add to their lead with Hickman opting to go for the posts and his superb kick put the home side 16-5 in front.
The match was then halted for approximately an hour after Hereford’s Mark Philo suffered a serious leg injury which required urgent medical attention. The injury has since been diagnosed as a dislocated ankle and broken tibia and fibia.
With the match once again underway through a Hereford scrum just metres from the Kenilworth try line, the home side’s set piece responded superbly to stave off any threat from Hereford in another superb defensive effort.
Scrum half Gaz Renowden was unfortunate to not be awarded a try with nine minutes to go with the referee out of position as he made his way for the line.
This did not deter Kenilworth however, as they continued to apply pressure to the Hereford defence before the visitors were reduced to 14 men for stamping.
Hickman’s 73rd minute attempt from the touch line was just wide of the uprights to leave the score at 16-5.
Despite Hereford’s efforts they were unable to earn an all important bonus point as Kenilworth deservedly secured their first win against Hereford since February 2011.