Kenilworth 22 Hereford 40: Ks left with too much to do after first-half collapse

The original game of two halves at Glasshouse Lane saw Kenilworth recover from an abysmal first-half performance to score all the points in the second half. However, penalties and errors prevented them from getting anything out of this fixture, writes Ralph Murray.

Nyle Beckett struggles to shake off the attentions of a tackler during Kenilworths Midlands One West clash with Hereford. Picture: Jass Lall
Nyle Beckett struggles to shake off the attentions of a tackler during Kenilworths Midlands One West clash with Hereford. Picture: Jass Lall

Right from the kick-off, Hereford signalled their intent with an initial possession which involved seven- phases. This was a pattern which repeated itself in the opening minutes and eventually the pressure told as the ball was swung wide to the left-winger who stepped the final defender to open the scoring.

The restart saw the Hereford fly-half attempt an optimistic kick ahead which Kenilworth had well covered and seemed to have a penalty advantage.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

However, the decision went the other way and, after a quick tap and go, the centre broke the line to score Hereford’s second try and with ten minutes gone the hosts were 12-0 down.

The lead forced Kenilworth to take the game to Hereford and a series of attacks were halted by multiple infringements which resulted in a penalty which Tom Kendall slotted over to get Kenilworth’s account started.

The hosts pressed for more points but again infringements by the defence prevented progress.

Eventually the turnover came and the Hereford winger, having received the quick penalty, set off from his 22 and as a result of some woeful defence and good speed recorded a third try for the visitors.

The reaction from Kenilworth was swift and direct. Good work from James Wadey gave Nyle Beckett a run at the line and after the referee and touch-judge conferred a try was awarded. Kendall banged home an awkward touchline kick to cut the gap to 19-10.

Just as momentum was switching to the home side a harmless-looking breakdown outside the Kenilworth 22 saw the Hereford six claim possession and stroll in untouched for the bonus-point try.

Worse was to come as Kenilworth shipped two further tries to turn around 40-10 down.

Good work and interplay from the restart between Alex Selby, Beckett and Dom Sheehan demonstrated just what progress could be achieved by precision and direct running and, after a series of good moves, Beckett touched down to begin the fightback.

The next period of the game was to prove critical. Kenilworth now attacked unrelentingly and repeated infringements resulted in a yellow card for the visitors. The attack continued as Kenilworth desperately tried to press home the advantage and still the infringements continued. Bobby Thompson looked to have secured the touchdown but play was stopped and another yellow card was issued. With a penalty try long overdue, the score did come, Thompson touching down from the pushover, with Kendall adding the extras.

As time ran out Kenilworth continued to press but their efforts in the second half failed to compensate for the sloppy performance in the first 40.