Kenilworth find that winning feeling against gritty Crewe - The Leamington Observer
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9th Aug, 2022

Kenilworth find that winning feeling against gritty Crewe

RUGBY UNION: A RUN of five games without a win came to an end for Kenilworth after they came out on top following a thrilling 35-32 victory at home to Crew & Nantwich, reports Sophie Freestone.

Josh Hickman was the star man for Kenilworth at Glasshouse Lane on Saturday after scoring 25 points from the tee to get the home side back to winning ways and off the bottom of the Midlands One West division.

The first points of the match came after ten minutes with the hosts securing a penalty thanks to the boot of Jim Creighton.

Their lead was short lived however as Kenilworth responded just four minutes later thanks to a try from fly half Jamie Mapletoft and Hickman’s conversion sailed through the uprights to give the hosts a 7-3 lead.

Crewe hit back almost immediately with a try on the right wing from flanker Josh Collins who bulldozed his way through the Kenilworth defence to nudge his side into a one-point lead.

That single-point lead soon became an eight-point advantage with powerful winger Tom Roberts shrugging off two defenders for a converted score, and their second try of the match, with just 20 minutes played.

A penalty from Hickman after 26 minutes closed the gap, with the full back adding a second penalty after Crewe were reduced to 14 men with half -an-hour played.

Kenilworth regained the lead after 36 minutes when Hickman added his third penalty to give his side a 16-15 lead. His fourth penalty followed as half-time approached and Kenilworth went into the break with an 11-point advantage.

The second half saw Crewe close the gap to eight points with a penalty after 45 minutes before the visitors scored their third try of the afternoon just three minutes later to reduce Kenilworth’s lead back to just a single point.

Hickman was once again on target after 51 minutes to give his side a four-point lead but Kenilworth were soon down to 14 men when second row Dan Careless was sin binned for offside after 56 minutes.

Despite their one man advantage, Crewe were unable to capitalise on the opportunity pressurise the hosts’ defence with Kenilworth extending their lead after 67 minutes once they had been restored to their full compliment.

Hickman’s successful penalty gave his side a seven-point lead before his seventh penalty, from seven attempts, after 73 minutes put his side ten points ahead with a 35-25 score.

Crewe did not give up however, with the opportunity to secure two bonus points still possible and their efforts were rewarded in the 77th minute to ensure it was a tense finish at Glasshouse Lane, with flanker Collins crossing for his second of the afternoon.

Creighton’s conversion closed the gap to just three points with three minutes to play but Kenilworth held on to secure a much-needed victory.

Kenilworth move up to 13th in the table ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Dudley Kingswinford.

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