Ks make harder work of cup progress than they should have done


Kenilworth were worthy winners of this Midlands Intermediate Cup clash but the performance could have been so much better, writes Ralph Murray.

The early omens were good, with an early score coming from a catch and drive close to the Brigade’s line producing a try for returning number eight Ian Phillips

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This was followed by a period of midfield skirmishes with Ks quick to exploit weaknesses but lacking in execution and Brigade squandering clear opportunities by choosing to kick where ball-in-hand might have produced more.

Backchat from Kenilworth did allow Northampton to get on the board with a 20-metre penalty, but following an enterprising move involving Andy Whitehall and Gareth Renowden, the visitors moved further ahead. The resultant lineout was claimed by Kenilworth and a catch and drive put Collett in close to the posts. Harry O’Brien added the extras for a 14-3 half-time lead.

From the restart, Steve Todd collected and from the resultant phase the ball was moved left to Ross Lowthian. The hooker drew in two defenders before timing his pass to perfection to set George Trafford on his way. The centre broke the Brigade line before sending Jimmy Middleton scampering half the length of the field to score in the corner.

This sparked the home side into a period of real urgency but not only did Kenilworth stem the attacking tide, they often converted it into useful attack. From one such foray, Lowthian was on the receiving end of a late and dangerous tackle which saw the Brigade lock receive a yellow card.

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Kenilworth took very little time to press the advantage home and a big surge up the right wing saw the ball recycled quickly for Middleton to score his second of the afternoon.

One might have expected the floodgates to open but Brigade, to their credit, refused to capitulate and went on a series of attacks.

A last-ditch tackle from Jai Purewal looked to have averted one attack, but the ball was moved left for the hosts to score in the corner.

Kenilworth responded in the best possible way. After recovering the kick-off, Todd picked up the ball 25 metres out and surged towards the line to touch down near the posts.

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Straight from the restart Brigade moved the ball close to the Ks line and, after a series of pick-and-drives, scored close to the posts. The conversion brought the score back t0 33-17.

Kenilworth made changes for the final 15 minutes and, for the first time this season, club captain Jonny Creswell entered the fray.

As the visitors attempted to run the ball out of their own 22 the pass was intercepted and Brigade took full advantage with a try close to the posts.

Suddenly the gap was down to nine points and the final ten minutes was all Brigade as they strived to get something out of the game.

However, fine tidying-up by Adam Clifford and an excellent tackle from Renowden denied them any further reward.