KCRFC v Tamworth (A) - Saturday 8th April
Tamworth 36 KC’s 25
KC’s made an encouraging start with No 8 Jess Smith
and second row Nathan Small
making strong runs from a lineout on their own ten metre line before linking up with centre Tom Maher
but the move fizzled out and with eight minutes played it was Tamworth who took the lead when they ventured into Kidder’s 22 for the first time.Awarded a penalty,the hosts opted for a scrum near the left touchline and a looping run by their flyhalf took him over to the right of the posts without a hand being laid on him as KC’s stood off rather than committing to a tackle.
Handling errors by both sides and a number of injury stoppages disrupted the flow of the game but midway through the half a good Kidder shove at a Tamworth scrum just inside the hosts 22 saw the home side’s front row go up and skipper Chris Pinner
knocked over the resultant penalty to reduce the arrears to 5-3.
Then,following a quickly taken penalty by Tamworth’s scrumhalf on halfway KC’s had to defend two attacking lineouts close to their line but a try threatening forwards drive was thwarted when Tamworth were penalised for coming in at the side and the visitors were able to clear their lines.
With thirty five minutes played KC’s went ahead for the first and only time when the hosts backs were caught offside at a ruck in front of their posts and after a lengthy delay whilst injured players on both sides were being treated Pinner calmly converted for a 6-5 lead.From the restart Kidder recycled the ball well to take play almost up to Tamworth’s 22 before knocking on but minutes later they were in trouble when the home side’s No 8 burst into their 22 from a ruck but fortunately he had run away from his support and his pass inside only found flanker Mike Protheroe
and once more KC’s were able to clear.However,they did not make the most of their reprieve as two minutes later they were again caught napping by another quick tap taken by Tamworth’s No 9 who ran through the black and gold shirts before finding his outside centre in acres of space and the No 13’s try was converted by their left wing for a 12-6 interval advantage.
It had not been the best of first halves for KC’s as although they had at times looked quite threatening in attack they had not taken enough care of the ball,coughing up possession far too easily.More worringly,their defence had been alarmingly porous with Tamworth flooding through their midfield time and again but they were nonetheless still very much in the game and needed a good start to the second period.
In the event,what they got was quite the opposite as they conceded again within two minutes of the restart.From a Tamworth lineout on the right between Kidder’s 22 and the ten metre line the ball was moved left to their fullback coming into the line and with two men outside him to distract the cover he cut through himself to dab down under the posts and the No 11 duly added the extras.
KC’s responded with a couple of fine runs from deep by fullback Jake Shellis and three penalties in rapid succession enabled them to apply a bit of pressure but on the quarter of an hour mark they fell further behind when Tamworth’s right wing scored wide out for the bonus point try and their No 11 added a fine conversion.
Ahead 26-6,it looked as though Tamworth might run away with it but a gutsy Kidderminster side again took the game to them with some strong running by replacement Tom Mayall
which almost created space for Pinner to dodge through and when he was stopped just short he was able to offload to flyhalf George Morgan for a deserved try which Pinner converted.
Tamworth hit back when their No 8 made a foraging run off the back of a lineout just inside KC’s half and found his No 14 on his shoulder to send the winger under the posts with their No 11 again converting to restore their twenty point advantage at 33-13 but Kidder were still not done.After surviving a scare right on their own line and then pinching a Tamworth throw they won turnover ball in their own 22 to launch a wave of attacks which were eventually stopped ten metres from the line by an illegal shoulder barge which saw the hosts No 12 yellow carded.Running the penalty,KC’s were frustrated by another Tamworth infringement and this time a quick thinking Pinner scampered over.The two touch judges both raised their flags to indicate that the scrumhalf’s conversion attempt was good but it subsequently transpired that the referee thought otherwise and the score was therefore now 33-18 rather than 33-20.
Against the fourteen men Kidder then again attacked from deep with players over on the right and Shellis showed a good turn of pace to outflank the fullback and run round under the posts for a third try,this time indisputably converted by Pinner to reduce the arrears to 33-25 with two minutes remaining.
Tamworth were then awarded a penalty on KC’s 22 and with most players and spectators seemingly still thinking that the score was in fact 33-27 and that Kidder therefore only required another converted try the hosts pragmatically kicked the goal to put the game beyond Kidder regardless.
This defeat means that KC’s will now definitely finish in sixth spot in Mids 2 West (N) whatever the result of their last league match on 22nd April but first they must travel to Oswestry on Easter Saturday to take on the Shropshire side in the semi final of the North Mids Shield.