Kenilworth returned to winning ways on Saturday with a nerve-wracking 21-18 victory over Nuneaton Old Edwardians to keep the pressure on play-off rivals Malvern, writes Sophie Freestone.
Having gone behind after 13 minutes to a penalty from the hosts, Kenilworth took the lead six minutes later when Charlie Stevens finished off a well-worked move following a five-metre scrum. Alex Selby added the extras to give his side a 7-3 advantage.
In a match where opportunities were few and far between, Kenilworth were unable to build on their lead and 34 minutes were on the clock before Nuneaton Old Edwardians closed the gap.
The hosts had a lineout just five metres from the Kenilworth line and the subsequent driving maul saw them cross the whitewash for their first try of the match. The conversion nudged the hosts into a one-point lead.
Nuneaton Old Edwardians continued to pressurise the visitors and their efforts were rewarded after 37 minutes when Kenilworth were penalised for entering the maul from the side and the hosts added the extras for an 11-7 interval lead.
Kenilworth came out of the blocks strongly in the second half, however, regaining the lead after 46 minutes.
Flanker Mikkel Andresen touched down after a five-metre lineout was driven to the Nuneaton line to put his side back in front.
Substitute Simon Tyler made no mistake with the conversion to give the hosts a 14-11 lead with just over 30 minutes to play.
Possession ebbed and flowed between the two sides but neither was able to capitalise until the 58th minute when Kenilworth crossed for their third try of the afternoon.
David Bromfield was on hand to touch down by the posts after Andresen had made a trademark break, barging through the hosts’ defence.
Tyler was again on target with the conversion to give the visitors a ten-point cushion going into the final quarter.
Kenilworth were unable to build on their lead, however, instead allowing Nuneaton Old Edwardians to come back and set up a grandstand finish at Weddington Road.
The hosts closed the gap with 70 minutes on the clock thanks to a superb length-of the field try from centre Craig Jones, withstanding pressure from Kenilworth in their own 22 before breaking away to ensure the match went right down to the wire.
The conversion narrowed the deficit to three points and the hosts continued to apply pressure in Kenilworth’s 22 only to be met by valiant defending from the visitors.
No further points were added as Kenilworth held on to secure a victory that keeps the pressure on play-off rivals Malvern, thumping winners over Leamington - see page 68.
Kenilworth are back in action tomorrow when they travel to Evesham in a rearranged fixture.