Kenilworth went top of the Midlands Two West (South) league following an impressive 27-14 victory at previous league leaders Kidderminster on Saturday, writes Sophie Freestone.
Kenilworth crossed four times to ensure they came back from Marlpool Lane with all five points to return to top spot.
Kenilworth asserted their authority on the match early on.
A kick through from Ed Hannam took his side to five metres from the Kidderminster line. The ball then emerged from a subsequent ruck and captain Bobby Thompson burrowed over to open his side’s account with just three minutes on the clock.
Josh Emery added the conversion for an early 7-0 advantage.
As the first half wore on, Kenilworth continued to dominate in terms of both territory, possession and at the set piece with Kidderminster unable to break into the visitors’ half or secure consistent lineout ball.
Kenilworth’s dominance was rewarded after 31 minutes of play when Josh Emery slotted a penalty after his side went close to scoring their second try of the match.
The visitors’ attacking exploits then came to fruition five minutes later when a superb driving maul in the Kidderminster 22 saw hooker Harry Abell touch down for a 15-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw the hosts get more involved as their lineout improved but Kenilworth continued to be the dominant side.
Their lead was extended with 51 minutes played when Hannam once again kicked through and was well-placed to collect the ball and go over for Kenilworth’s third of the afternoon.
Emery added the extras from the tee to put Kenilworth into a commanding 22-0 lead.
With a much improved performance in the final 40, Kidderminster responded to Kenilworth’s third try by scoring their first of the match just four minutes later.
Good work from the pack took the hosts up to the Kenilworth line before Andy McLellan went over. The conversion was good to close the gap to 15 points with 25 minutes to play.
Kenilworth went down to 14 men when Sam Harrison was shown yellow but despite their one-man deficit, the visitors’ defence remained resolute, shutting out the hosts for the bulk of the sin-bin period.
It was in fact Kenilworth who put the first points on the board during the spell when excellent pressure from Hannam allowed him to rip the ball from Kidderminster on the wing.
The centre then raced down the touchline, scoring his side’s fourth in the corner to secure the bonus point.
Kidderminster replied immediately with a try in the corner after a well-worked break up the right wing but it was mere consolation.