Kings Norton 45 Coventry Welsh 7
Midlands Four West (South)
THERE was a poignant feel to the occasion on Saturday as Kings Norton eased to victory thanks to a superb first half display.
Prior to the kick-off players from both teams observed a minute’s silence for former player and vice-president Nigel Goodman, who had recently passed away following a long illness.
Earlier, president Mark Pearson had presided over a festive pre-match lunch attended by some 32 past players, friends and members.
Kings opened strongly from the kick-off and their forward-dominated attack hit a shell-shocked Welsh with four tries in the space of 21 minutes.
Alex Stylianou opened the account with a strong run to the line after just five minutes and the try was converted by captain Shane Rees.
From the restart Ben Manners collected from his forwards and touched down following a powerful run to the corner, but Rees’ conversion attempt saw the ball bounce back off the upright.
Then it was Jack Manners’ turn to score Kings’ third try as he collected a clearance punt before racing over the line, with Rees adding the extras after just 12 minutes.
The visitors began to settle and a short spell of possession saw them work their way out of defence, only to succumb to Kings Norton’s defensive efforts, and they lost possession to Nick West whose powerful run through their defence gave space for a touchdown between the posts converted by Rees.
The four-try bonus point was in the bag after just 21 minutes but Kings kept the pressure on and ten minutes later Jack Manners raced over for his second try, converted by Rees.
Kings’ forwards continued to dominate and brother Jack Manners completed the first half by scoring his second try, after which Rees narrowly missed the conversion.
As complacency set in, Coventry Welsh forced their way upfield and their centre intercepted a long Kings pass to race across and touch down between the posts and the referee blew for half time after the successful conversion with the hosts 38-7 up.
The large home support were expecting more of the same in the second half but over-confidence and greediness by the home players spoiled their attempts to break through a determined Coventry Welsh team intent on frustrating Kings’ efforts to add to their first half score.
Finally, Kings were able to cross the line with a smart bit of play by Jack Barwick who seized on a loose ball to touch down and Rees’ conversion completed the scoring on the stroke of full time.
Kings face a tough test on Saturday (2.15pm) when they travel to second placed Evesham, who are two places and three points above the Hopwood men.
KINGS 2nds won a tight contest at Alcester 2nds 26-21 thanks to tries from Jamie Thomas, James Pritchard and veteran prop forward Kevin Edwards.