Silhillians adapt to the mudbath conditions better than Kenilworth

Kenilworth travelled to Silhillians on Saturday and suffered a 15-7 Midlands Two West (South) defeat in muddy conditions at Warwick Road, writes Sophie Freestone.

Silhillians and Kenilworth battle it out in a mudbath at Warwick Road. Picture: Willie Whitesmith

Silhillians had the upper hand in the early skirmishes but had to wait until the 26th minute to break the deadlock. Kenilworth knocked the ball on just metres from their own try line and the hosts were quick to capitalise, whipping the ball out to the left to score the game’s opening try which was converted.

The home side continued to look dangerous with ball in hand for the remainder of the half, while injuries forced Kenilworth to reshuffle their line-up. However, the heavy underfoot conditions meant points-scoring opportunities were rare and there was no addition to the score before half-time.

Kenilworth started the second half more brightly and their efforts were rewarded with 48 minutes on the clock. The visitors secured possession from a five-metre lineout before taking the ball infield. The forwards then put in a powerful drive, allowing captain Bobby Thompson to touch down under the sticks.

Patricia McMahon touches down for Kenilworths Development XV against De Montfort University. Picture: Tim Nunan

Alex Selby was on target with his conversion to level the scores.

As the second half progressed Kenilworth were again forced to make changes to their line-up, while Silhillians continued to show their attacking potential despite the slippery pitch and they extended their lead with just over ten minutes to play. With the ball taken out wide, the hosts used their pace to cross on the right.

The missed conversion meant they went into the final minutes with a slender five-point cushion which they extended to eight with a penalty from in front of the posts with the final kick of the match.

Meanwhile, Kenilworth Ladies rounded off their second double-header of the campaign by routing Wellingborough 71-0 to secure their tenth league victory from ten matches.

Patricia McMahon touches down for Kenilworths Development XV against De Montfort University. Picture: Tim Nunan

In a curtain-raiser to their league fixture, the Ladies’ Development XV overcame visitors De Montfort University 49-0 and the first string were quickly into their stride, young winger Sophie Henry crossing in the corner for a try converted by Rebecca Lewis.

Centre Beth Woodward then scored a quickfire brace, with two further Lewis conversions extending Kenilworth’s lead to 21 points.

There were also first-half tries for Fran Dargan and captain Rebecca Hill either side of a second from Henry as the hosts went into the break 36 points to the good.

Kenilworth were quickly back on the scoreboard after the break, Phoebe Howles crossing on the right after a dummy from centre Felicity Baldwin put the winger into space.

Lewis’ fourth conversion of the afternoon made it 43-0.

Woodward then completed her hat-trick straight from the restart. Hooker Siobhan Allison-Moore caught the kick before offloading to Woodward who broke through the visitors’ defence way to score under the posts. Another Lewis conversion took her side to the half-century mark with 25 minutes to play.

Woodward crossed for a fourth try, again converted, before Hill showed her pace to break away from the Wellingborough defence and touchdown on the right. Lewis was again on target with the boot.

Howles then added her second try of the afternoon, with Lewis’ conversion taking Kenilworth past the 70-point mark.