Kenilworth got their season back on track on Saturday with a ten-try victory over Old Yardleians at Glasshouse Lane which maintained the pressure on second-placed Malvern, writes Sophie Freestone.
Playing against the side propping up the league, the match gave Kenilworth the opportunity to play some running rugby and that is exactly what they did, scoring ten tries.
The hosts took an early lead, with winger Ollie Sharples opening the scoring with just a minute on the clock.
Centre Charlie Stevens doubled the advantage and half Alex Selby then extended Kenilworth’s lead after his side wormed their way into the Old Yardleians 22. Centre Simon Tyler was on hand to slot over the conversion for a 17-point cushion with 17 minutes on the clock.
The match then went through a phase where neither side was able to penetrate the opposing defence but the breakthrough came after 34 minutes, Kenilworth replacement Jai Purewal burrowing his way over the line to secure the try-bonus point.
Alex Selby then showed real skill when he chipped over the opposition defence and regathered before offloading to Rob Thomason who ran on to the ball at pace to touch down by the posts.
Old Yardleians responded with their only try of the afternoon just before the break to close the gap to 22 points. A period of pressure on the Kenilworth five-metre line was rewarded when the visitors burrowed their way over from just a few metres out.
Kenilworth started the second half in the same way they opened the first, with Sharples once again crossing the whitewash. Selby added the extras to give his side a 34-5 lead.
Captain Bobby Thompson was the next to add his name to the scoresheet. Powerful running from the flanker saw him break through the defence on the right to score his side’s seventh try of the afternoon.
Selby added the extras from the tee for a 41-5 lead with just over half an hour to play.
It took a further 20 minutes for the home side to add to their tally, Rhys Jones bundling his way over after the ball had been shipped wide.
Four minutes later, scrum-half Gareth Renowden dived over by the posts for Kenilworth’s ninth try of the afternoon.
Selby slotted the conversion to give his side a 48-point advantage.
Following Purewal’s try-scoring appearance from the bench, fellow substitute Will Blackmore also got his name on the scoresheet in the 79th minute. Selby’s conversion rounded off proceedings.
Elsewhere at Kenilworth, the 2nd XV have reached the final of the Warwickshire Shield following a 30-15 victory against Shipston.
Winger Adam Turner scored four tries with Raj Bahey and Ian Phillips also touching down.
The final will see them take on Berkswell & Balsall on Sunday March 4.
Rob Poulter scored a hat-trick of tries as Kenilworth Colts overpowered Rugby St Andrews 51-5.