Kenilworth slip to a narrow defeat against well-fancied Syston
Kenilworth took on Leicestershire side Syston in their second league match of the season and were beaten 16-15.
Syston are one of the league's fancied sides who finished 3rd last year (with both teams above them being promoted to Level 4). The match also marked the 300th 1XV match for stalwart home scrum half Gareth Renowden, an astonishing achievement which was marked by him leading out the Kenilworth side.
After a sombre and dignified silence in memory of The Queen, both sides showed impressive defence and ball retention with Kenilworth edging the territory stats.
But, after a couple of moments of indiscipline, Kenilworth found themselves on the back foot in their 22, Syston recycled the ball well and their forwards eventually crashed over for a converted try after 20 minutes.
However the Kenilworth got right back in it when debutant hooker Harry Smith scored an unconverted try.
After a great break down the right, young winger Will Morgan was well tackled and Syston infringed at the ruck. Ed Hannam stroked over a nice kick from 35 metres out and Kenilworth led 8-7 at half time.
Soon after the break the Syston forwards broke clear with their prop rampaging towards the line, desperate defence ended up in a kickable penalty being conceded and Syston took a narrow lead again 8-10. With returning fly half Tyler Price on the field and testing out his passing skills, the home side soon bounced back with the try of the match. Great running lines and perfectly timed passing saw Ed Hannam swivel over for the try which he converted himself to make it 15-10.
There was no quarter asked in the closing stages and eventually the visitors showed a little more 'nous' to earn two more penalties which were well converted by their winger 15-16. They saw out the game with the home side throwing everything at the visitors, with one more kickable penalty unfortunately slipping by.
Some issues with the lineout which the coaching team will certainly be focussing on, plus a few too many changes from the week before, probably didn't help, but it's safe to say that this Kenilworth side will be asking a lot of questions of the established sides in this league. Next week they travel to Lichfield.