KCRFC v .Veseyans (H) - Saturday 22nd April
KC’s 40 Veseyans 18
At first sight this was a fairly meaningless end of season fixture between two mid table sides in Mids 2 West (N) with nothing much to play for but the undercurrent was that both teams had the opportunity to lay down a marker before meeting again on 7th May in the final of the North Mids Shield.
Veseyans enjoyed a territorial advantage in the opening exchanges but it was the home side who were first on the scoreboard.A KC’s lineout found prop Matt Rigsby at the back and after the ball had been moved along the threes the visitors were penalised at a ruck and flyhalf Rhys Pritchard
knocked over the kick from twenty five metres with thirteen minutes on the clock.
Kidder then proceeded to lose a succession of lineouts but when they managed to win their own ball for only the second time midway through the half it again resulted in a score with the visitors being caught offside just beyond their own ten metre line and Pritchard kicking the goal to double the hosts advantage to 6-0.Despite being ahead,KC’s were looking lethargic and they failed to deal with Veseyan’s restart,gifting them a penalty which was kicked to the 22.They then used the inevitable lineout possession to go through the phases ,culminating in a try for centre Joe Williams which was converted by fullback Harry Griffiths to edge them in front 7-6.
The score boosted the visitors and shortly afterwards their openside Dean Morris almost got over after a loose bouncing ball had ricocheted to him but Kidder escaped with a five metre scrum and a terrific run by Hillandale Caravans man of the match No 8 Jess Smith
suddenly had Veseyans on the back foot.When he was tackled KC’s moved the ball left and fullback James Whitehouse
came into the line to cross wide out and put them back ahead,11-7.
Following this score Kidder’s lineout went into complete meltdown and they did not help their cause with some aimless kicking out of defence which the visitors were only too happy to run back at them.Heaping pressure on themselves,it was no surprise when the hosts conceded again as more Veseyans lineout possession from a throw on halfway was backed up by some lovely interchanges and the line arrived just in time for second row Adam Mitchell to lumber over and re-establish their single point advantage at 12-11.
KC’s tried to rally but after some more good work by Smith and a half break by centre George Morgan had briefly posed a threat the half typically ended with another error as the ball was spilled forward to bring to an end a pretty ropy forty minutes for the home side.
The second period began with another storming run by Smith and with seven minutes played Kidder at last produced some continuity and a try by centre George Morgan put them back in the lead,16-12.However,for the next quarter of an hour they came under some sustained pressure and when Veseyans escaped down the left it took a last ditch tackle by Morgan to save the day.KC’s capitalised on the reprieve with a break out of defence by fellow centre Tom Maher
which took him into the visitors half and when he tried to find his support a high tackle gave Pritchard the opportunity to land another penalty from the ten metre line.
Three minutes later Griffiths replied with a penalty of his own which deflected in off the right post to again reduce the margin to four points at 19-15 and with nearly fifteen minutes still left to play he once more closed the gap to one point with another successful kick.With their noses in front 19-18 Kidder would probably have settled for a single point win as they had been second best for most of the afternoon but when Veseyans knocked on the restart KC’s swarmed into their 22 and won a penalty eight metres out.They opted for a scrum from which George Morgan almost broke through and then,critically for the visitors,Williams was yellow carded and Kidder took full advantage to turn the game on its head with three tries in the last eight minutes against the fourteen men.First,they again took the scrum option and even though they looked certain to score anyway they were awarded a penalty try.Then a rampaging attack saw Morgan just lose the foot race after he had kicked ahead into the in goal area but shortly afterwards Pritchard wriggled through the tackles to touch down deep into time added on and with the last play of the match a scintillating run by Arthur Morgan ended with a spectacular try for the left wing.
All three tries were converted by Pritchard to give the scoreline a somewhat flattering look but after their earlier labours KC’s had certainly finished in style to clinch the unlikeliest of bonus point wins.
Having completed a league double over Veseyans,Kidderminster will go into the Shield final as favourites but they will need a much improved performance over the full eighty minutes in order to ensure that they do not trip up.