Battling Kenilworth claim historic first win over Nuneaton

Kenilworth beat Nuneaton 24-19 at Glasshouse Lane, in the eagerly awaited Regional 1 Midlands fixture.

Paddy Grace brings the ball forward for Kenilworth. Pic by Chris Wood
Paddy Grace brings the ball forward for Kenilworth. Pic by Chris Wood

It was the first time the local rivals have played each other in the league.

The opening quarter saw both sides testing each other out. The home side showed early dominance in the scrum, with the home line-out was also functioning well, buoyed by the return of Mikkel Andresen and debutant Finn Nicholas.

It was the home side that scored first after 17 minutes, a Nuneaton indiscretion gave Kenilworth’s kickable penalty but skipper Bobby Thompson opted to kick to touch and line out, from which Thompson himself was on the end of the driving maul for score.

Will Morgan converted before adding a penalty for a 10-0 lead.

Tyler Price added another try on 30 minutes to put Kenilworth in charge.

An enforced change at 10 for Nuneaton saw a tactical change; the newcomer ably orchestrating a wider game, and bringing veteran Phil Reed into the game, something that the home side took some time to get under control.

Nuneaton were given a lifeline straight after half-time when Jacob Line was adjudged to have taken an opposition player out in the air

Spurred on by their numerical advantage, the visitors now had the ‘bit between their teeth’ and scored out wide before missing the conversion.

By the time Kenilworth were back to 15 men Nuneaton were enjoying their best spell of the game with Reed going over to bring it back to 17-12.

But Jayde Alexander steadied the nerves after finishing off a ‘chip and chase’

With the game entering the final quarter Nuneaton made the most of some home side indiscipline, scoring their final try of the game, conversion added taking the score to 24-19.

The visitors were now on the ascendancy and the Kenilworth team were in need of something to claw momentum back their way.

‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ as Thompson put in the shot of the day, stopping the Nuneaton player in his tracks and winning the penalty in the process.