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Lichfield RUFC travelled to mid-table Kenilworth on Saturday and got the lucky side of the weather to record a 50-13 triumph.
It took less than 60 seconds for the visitors to get going, as the ball was moved the full width of the pitch from the kick off. Sam Prior burst through the defence and ran 60 metres before being hauled down short of the line. The Greens kept their composure, and three phases later, Dan Rowlands scored in the opposite corner. Luke Massey converted.
The restart was almost a repeat performance, as the ball was moved down the same flank, and some neat handling saw Greg Massey score. Luke Massey again converted, and with three minutes on the clock, Lichfield held a 0-14 lead.
Kenilworth and their home crowd were shellshocked and a rout looked on the cards, but they composed themselves, and given the opportunity with the ball, they earned a penalty which they kicked into the 22. The hosts used forwards and backs to try and break down the Lichfield defence, but were penalised after several minutes of attack for holding on in the breakdown.
Lichfield relieved the pressure, and the ensuing fifteen minutes saw play held between the half-way line.
The visitors were forced into a change as Charlie Milner was moved back to inside centre, making way for Cal Turner.
Lichfield struggled to play through their phases, as the game became very stop start.
It was Milner who made the break through in the 29th minute, as the whole team was involved in breaking down the Kenilworth line. Massey again converted.
With ten minutes of the half left, Greg Massey scored a fantastic individual try, as he returned a kick and beat several defenders in a narrow space to score his second of the day. Massey again converted and Lichfield had secured a bonus point with 33 minutes played.
The Greens again found their rhythm in the final five minutes and a barrage of forward bursts saw Rich Burton break the line and feed to Cal Turner to score the fifth try of the game. Massey missed the conversion, and Lichfield went into half time leading 0-33.
The desire from the visitors to build on their first half performance was evident, but from a position of control, their scrum was turned over and Kenilworth went on the attack. The pace and movement caught the Lichfield defence narrow, and the ball was spread very wide for the winger to dive over in the corner.
The conversion was added, and with four minutes of the second half played, the hosts found themselves in a purple patch as they began to press.
Lichfield easily repelled the attacks, but couldn’t keep hold of the ball when they had it. An innocuous scrum saw the ball moved into the centre, were a tackle was missed and Kenilworth raced through to score.
The game descended into a very stop start affair, with players making errors, and the referee’s interpretation having too much impact on the game.
This seemed to spur Lichfield on, as the final ten minutes saw Greg Massey score a hat-trick of tries from impressive team play. He converted one to take his overall tally to 27 points, and Lichfield closed out the game 14-50 victors.
The drama wasn’t just in the field though. Greens coach Alex Gray opted to stay on the touchline after receiving a call to say his pregnant wife was on the way to hospital. She was later released from hospital and is still expecting the arrival of their newborn.
Lichfield: Craddock, Clarke, Bassett (c), Southern, Squire, Burton, Milner, Prior; Evans, L Massey, J Massey, Maxwell-Keys, D Rowlands, G Massey. Subs: Gabbitass, Thompson and Turner.
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