KCRFC V Verulamians
Kilburn welcomed Verulamians to Gladstone park this week. Previous encounters in the last two years were shared evenly at two wins each. As such and given Verulamians strong position in the league and kilburns recent for this game was going to be no different.
Playing with the wind in the first half Kilburn set about their regular ways finding inroads into Verulamians half and pressurising the opposition at the breakdown. Kilburn however were slightly less organised in defence than recent weeks, Verulamians were granted to much space and had a few opportunities to make yards. It was the visitors who had the first opportunity to take points with Kilburn giving a penalty away on their own 22, fortunately Verulamians failed to take advantage. It was Kilburn skipper Fraser Hutt who broke the deadlock, slotting a penalty from 30 meters. Shortly after Kilburn broke the try deadlock with some great play between brothers Andy And Fraser Hutt, Andy broke the line and made ground with some good interplay following between forwards Andrew Brotherston and Aly Bursey the ball ended up with hooker Martin Caterall who crosses the try line for the second week in a row. Fraser added the extra to take the score to 10-0. Kilburn kept applying the pressure but were struggling to find additional finishing touches, both teams were causing trouble for one and other at the breakdown, as such penalties were frequent and the ref had to speak to both sides warning that the next offence would be a yellow card. Verulamians then made a good break into Kilburns half a rare visit deep inside Kilburns 22. Fly half Jon Green paid for the previous penalties as he was awarded a yellow card and 10 minutes on the sideline for offside following the refs final team warning. Verulamians took the penalty from the yellow card offence and slotted 3 points. Kilburns response to the penalty and yellow card was seamless, Kilburns 14 pulled together and immediately forced a penalty infront of the posts Hutt slotted the 3 points to take Kilburn to 13-3. Kilburn then sprung into overdrive and forced their way downfield one man short, Mike Atkinson took advantage of a half gap and as he has consistently done this year found a way over the tryline, down to 14 men Kilburn had scored 10 additional points, they however turned at half time and would be playing omit a strong wind.
Early second half exchanges were very even. Both teams making yards, it was probably Verulamians with the breeze behind them who found themselves in possession more often than not. With Jon Green back on the park Kilburn did make inroads even against the wind. But couldn't quite take full advantage of some good territory. Eventually Verulamians broke and made a length of the field break, 2nd row Obi Ajufo working overtime to get back and cover found a great turn of pace to prevent a try. I Verulamians though kept applying the pressure at ruck time, Jon Green found himself defending the fringes of a ruck, Jon helped clear out the ruck but had unfortunately entered from an offside position and stopped a possible Verulamians score, as such Jon received his second yellow and subsequently a red, Kilburn down to 14 men with 30 minutes to go. Verulamians then had the ability to really apply pressure through their big men and found more space out wide due to their numerical advantage. Kilburn however showed why they are so far this season unbeaten with an outstanding display of workrate, discipline and organisation in defence. Kilburn were resolute and rolling subs to keep everyone fresh for the mammoth task of keeping a good Verulamians side away from their try line for 30 minutes. Kilburn performed this task in Stirling fashion until 5 minutes to go when Verulamians eventually used their numbers to get over the try line bringing the score to 20-10. Kilburn subsequently knew they needed to get the ball and keep it in their hands for as long as possible, Kilburn did just that and wore down the time, on the second attempt Fraser Eventually brought the game to an end kicking it out.
Kilburn travel to local rivals UCS based in West Hampstead next week for the final match this side of Christmas.