A grey overcast afternoon at Glasshouse Lane, accompanied by a biting wind, did not augur well for an entertaining game and Kenilworth subsequently failed to reproduce the form which saw them win the recent Warwickshire Cup fixture between the two sides, writes Ralph Murray.
Kenilworth got off to a busy start and the opening minutes were spent almost exclusively within the Berkswell half.
But such periods of possession must be converted into points and the visitors’ first incursion into the Ks half brought immediate reward against the run of play.
With the hosts looking to defend multiple phases, the referee whistled for an offside and the option to kick for goal brought the opening score.
The response from Kenilworth was immediate and prolonged.
Time and time again Ks looked to move the ball across the pitch and produced some flowing, attractive spells but so often the good work was undone by a forward pass or lost possession.
Captain Mikel Andreson was at the heart of a lot of the best passages and his break from eight against the head made great territory and looked odds-on to get the home side on the board. But a turnover gave the ball away and the B&B 15 set off on the counter before his attempted pass was batted down for which he immediately demanded a yellow.
The full-back had his request answered, though not in the way he’d planned. His colleague was involved in a contretemps with a Kenilworth front-rower and the official gave both of the pugilists a ten-minute break to think about their actions.
With the half running down, Kenilworth hammered at Bs’ line and a high tackle was spotted by the referee.
Advantage was being played and a second, much more serious, high tackle came in but received no sanction except a penalty which Josh Hickman converted to level the scores.
Eventually the hosts did get their reward and Andreson was again the pivot. Alex Selby linked well and as the ruck formed he found James Wadey who crashed over.
The successful kick put Kenilworth 10-3 up at the interval.
The second half started well for Kenilworth as they looked to add to their lead but they could not convert all the good work.
Long periods were spent in midfield and in the Kenilworth half with neither side able to break out.
Eventually, Berkswell turned the tide and won a scrum five metres out. Winger Joe Jepps strayed offside as he looked to disrupt the push and the referee immediately went under the posts for a penalty try.
On the balance of possession and invention, Kenilworth were scratching their heads as to how the scores were level.
But despite continued effort, no further scores were added and the relief of the Bs receiver as he kicked the ball to touch to end the game spoke volumes.