Kenilworth get off the mark with victory over their near-neighbours

Lorna Holloway in possession for Old Leamingtonians against Kenilworth on Sunday. Picture: Tim Nunan
Lorna Holloway in possession for Old Leamingtonians against Kenilworth on Sunday. Picture: Tim Nunan

Kenilworth Ladies secured their maiden league victory of the season on Sunday with a 38-12 win against Old Leamingtonians in the first local derby between the two sides, writes Aisling Straver.

Full-back Felicity Baldwin scored a hat-trick with Beth Woodward, Maddie Rendell and Rebecca Hill also crossing and Rebecca Lewis adding four conversions.

Hosts Kenilworth opened the scoring when centre Woodward broke through the Old Leamingtonians defence to touch down. Lewis added the extras from the tee.

Kenilworth extended their advantage when Baldwin opened her account in the 35th minute, the full-back making the most of an overlap on the left for an unconverted score.

A yellow card reduced Kenilworth to 14 but OLs were unable to make the most of their extra player and it remained 12-0 to the home side at the interval.

Still at a numercial disadvantage, Kenilworth extended their lead straight from the restart, Baldwin on hand to score her second. Lewis slotted over the conversion for a 19-0 lead.

On the hour, Old Leamingtonians reduced the deficit when Sam Smyth crossed the whitewash for a try converted by Jen Vermeulen.

The hosts responded with a superb try from Maddie Rendell just four minutes later. Rendell broke through the visitors’ defence from outside the 22 to touch down under the posts and give Lewis an easy conversion.

A well-worked team try was then finished off by captain Hill to make it 31-7.

Old Leamingtonians put some good phases together to head back into Kenilworth territory and added their second try courtesy of Kyra Gleeson.

As the match entered the closing stages, Kenilworth were awarded an attacking scrum five metres from the Old Leamingtonians line. The hosts’ powerful pack gave scrum-half Hill quick ball and slick hands along the backline released Baldwin to touch down for her hat-trick.

The conversion from Lewis was successful to round off the scoring.