KENILWORTH stormed to the top of the Midlands 2 West (South) table heading into the new year with a bonus-point victory over Old Coventrians at Glasshouse Lane, moving ahead of fellow table-toppers Kidderminster on points difference.
In the midst of a strong breeze and winter conditions, it was the visitors who made the breakthrough after ten minutes played. Some strong build-up in the Kenilworth 22-metre line saw the first try of the afternoon bundled home for a 5-0 lead as conditions began to worsen further still.
But it was in the following ten minutes of play that Kenilworth rose to look every bit the title contenders, making significant progress towards the Old Coventrians line and creating a break down the right-flank through Ollie Sharples who dived home to level the scoreline.
Old Coventrians appeared to have shot themselves in the foot when being reduced to 14 men with tempers running high, the OC prop shown a red card, whilst Kenilworth went a man-down momentarily with a yellow card.
The extra-man advantage began to look evident after the half-way point, taking the lead on 47 minutes when a rolling maul from a five metre line-out saw centre Ed Hannam touch down on the left for the crucial 10-5 lead.
A third try was to follow 12 minutes later courtesy of Bobby Thompson. Kenilworth’s pressure on the five metre line paid off as a scrum saw the number eight break out from the pack and extend the home side’s stronghold on the game to 15-5.
Heading into the dying embers of the game, Kenilworth were searching for that elusive bonus point, and they duly secured it with just two minutes to play.
Scrum-half Gareth Renowden made a bursting run to chase and receive a kick forwards en route to securing the final try of the afternoon to the right of the posts.
Securing the full five points means Kenilworth sit top of the pile over Christmas and at the back end of 2018, having only lost once all campaign.
Kenilworth open 2019 with an away fixture against another league struggler in Rugby St Andrews on Saturday 5th January (2:15pm).