Coventrians 3 Kings Norton 29
Midlands Four West (South)
KINGS returned to winning ways as a much-changed squad earned a confidence-boosting victory at lowly Coventrians on Saturday.
Kris Fenn opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a successful drive to score Kings’ first try, converted by Leon Rees, debutant brother of captain Shane.
The home side defended resolutely for the next 15 minutes before finally conceding a penalty in front of their posts which Rees slotted to extend the lead.
With so many changes in personnel due to work commitments and injuries, plus regulars playing out of position, it was no surprise Kings were unable to find much fluency and succumbed to a 25th minute penalty which the home kicker slotted from long range.
As the visitors gelled, spurred on by man of the match veteran Gareth Cooksey stepping up from the second team, they put together a passage of play which saw the ball pass through six phases and result in an excellent score as second row forward Rob ‘Mouse’ McGhee appeared on the wing and evaded a couple of tackles before crossing the try line.
Coventrians attacked in flashes but found it difficult to break down Kings’ defence and, as the clock ticked down to half time, the mercurial Mark Waudby was sin-binned for constantly handling illegally in the ruck but this did not prevent the visitors taking a 15-3 lead into the break.
Coventrians opened the second half in determined fashion and pressurised Kings into conceding a penalty in front of their posts. With an easy penalty kick on offer, to their credit the home team chose to scrimmage, but Kings were able to drive over and clear their lines.
This well refereed game was fiercely and fairly contested and after 52 minutes the strong running Ben Boyce was Kings’ second player to be yellow-carded for illegally holding on to the ball when tackled.
Despite this ten-minute setback Kings continued to have the edge and after a Cov player was yellow-carded the visitors began to boss the game.
Two tries went begging when from one strong forward drive Sam Back crossed the line but was adjudged to have been held up and then Mike Smaylen knocked-on under pressure over the line.
The final quarter saw Kings maintain this momentum as Back won a good lineout ball and drove powerfully to the line and Chris Hands crashed over for Kings’ third try from the ensuing ruck which Rees converted.
The best try of the game came when Jack Barwick, playing at full back, engineered the score with a superb 50m line-breaking run and the ball was passed through three pairs of hand before finally reaching the supporting Alex Stylianou who touched down to gain a bonus point fourth try which was converted by Rees.
Debutant Jack Nash came on at second row for the final 20 minutes and gave a good account of himself as Kings, now fourth, moved to within five points of second placed Claverdon.
Kings’ next league fixture is at home to Coventry Welsh on December 6 but before that they visit North Midlands reserve league side Dudley Wasps in the quarter-finals of the North Midlands Vase on Saturday (2.15pm).