TOP of the league Kidderminster Carolians lost their first league game of the season to nearest rival Kenilworth in front of a large crowd of supporters at Marlpool Lane.

Coached by former All Blacks and France defence coach Dave Ellis, Kenilworth started strongly and scored a converted try after two minutes when they attacked through both forwards and backs following some uncharacteristically weak tackling by the home side.

The referee’s interpretation of the line-outs led to a string of penalties as the league leaders struggled to adjust to the new questions posed.

Kenilworth increased their lead with a penalty after 28 minutes to give them a 10-0 lead. That was extended five minutes before half time by an unconverted try following a line out catch and drive by the well drilled Kenilworth forwards.

After half time the Kidderminster task was made even harder when the increasingly confident Kenilworth side increased their lead with a converted try after good approach work by their forwards to take the score to 22-0.

The resilience of the home side has been tested many times this season and rather than buckle they finally started to show the fluid play they are capable of and Andy McLellan was rewarded with a converted try after forwards and backs combined with a series of powerful surges near the posts.

Increasingly stretching the Kenilworth defence lead to the only yellow card of the game against the away team’s flanker.

As the home side upped the pace, they took increasing risks and spread the ball wide leading to an interception by the Kenilworth winger whose unconverted try took the score to 27-7 to the away team.

Ryan Tiene scored the final try of the game and this was again converted by Freddie Morgan who deputised ably at scrum half after Chris Pinner was forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury.

The final score of 27-14 to Kenilworth was a fair reflection of the game and although Kidderminster had not reached the heights of earlier games credit must be given to highly motivated and well organised Kenilworth outfit.

Kidderminster face another tough challenge this week when they aim to return to winning ways in the National Cup at Camp Hill (2pm).