Selby’s penalty seals a not to so great escape


After the previous week’s heroics against the league leaders, Kenilworth were strangely out of sorts against a forthright Leighton Buzzard side in this Intermediate Cup tie.

The visitors moved ahead just short of the half-hour mark, with a routine pick-and-drive setting up the Leighton centre for the opening score, which was converted.

Soon after, Kenilworth were dealt another blow with the early retirement of James Wadey with a hip injury.

The visitors now had their tails up and were only denied a follow-up score by some good cleaning up by Harry O’Brien following a kick and chase from deep.

The reprieve was only temporary, however, with the visitors capitalising on a quick tap-and-go following a string of Ks infringements to go 14-0 up.

Kenilworth regrouped and despite wasting a three-on-one overlap, a penalty for an earlier offence allowed the hosts to set up a ruck and Jake Dodd smashed his way through to touch down for a converted try and valuable points before the break.

A period of attrition after the interval was broken by a passage of fine rugby started and finished by Andy Whitehall.

Having trapped a clearance with his boot and returned a kick to touch, Whitehall found himself fielding the return and proceeded to look right. A change of direction took him down the left wing and as the touchline beckoned he passed inside to Rhys Llewellyn who headed for the line. Realising he did not have the pace to beat the approaching defence, Llewellyn pushed the ball left to the supporting Jimmy Middleton who in turn swung the ball put to the wing to Whitehall who finished the move off with some aplomb.

Having converted the try, O’Brien then put the home side ahead for the first time with a penalty.

The lead did not last long as poor tackling allowed Leighton to score an unconverted try and move into a 19-17 lead.

With time running out, Ks struggled for composure, but after another attack had broken down, play was brought back for an earlier penalty and O’Brien made no mistake to nudge the home side ahead by the slimmest of margins.

As the visitors looked to regain the advantage, their final attack was stopped by a crunching tackle by O’Brien, with Alex Selby pushing the ball into touch from the ensuing ruck to ensure Ks escaped with an unlikely victory.

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