Kilburn Cosmos 18 Stevenage Town 24
Kilburn delivered a challenging performance but failed to convert it into points again.
Kilburn failed to convert performance into points again, with their losing streak extending to five in five. Kilburn hosted Stevenage at Gladstone Park and for large periods in the game held the lead but once again failed to convert periodic dominance into an 80 minute performance and the much needed win.
Kilburn started the game well, having taken the wind in the first half Kilburn were first on the score sheet with captain Fraser Hutt playing in his new role as stand-off feeding the inside run of Tom Ding, Ding coming off the back of two man of the match performances darted through the defence and the hooker rounded the Stevenage full back to score between the posts. /in hindsight Kilburn will be frustrated they hadn’t kicked on from here and built a larger lead, Stevenage did well into the wind applying some pressure within the Kilburn 22 but the Kilburn defence was well organised and resolute from close range, Stevenage found the space when attacking from slightly further out with a good run from their scrum half ending in an offload for a relatively easy stroll in, the game was level at 7 each. Both teams traded opportunities with Kilburn producing more prospects, unfortunately for Kilburn the opportunities could only be converted to penalty kicks at goal with the Stevenage defence holding strong. Kilburn and Hutt converted two of three penalties and the half time score was 13-7. Kilburn at home for the second time this season and ahead again at this point were adamant they wouldn’t make the same mistakes and continue to pressurise the opposition for the remaining 40 minutes. Kilburn started on point, with the sides relatively evenly match exchanging attacking chances and both looking dangerous, unfortunately for the second time in the game it was a good break from Stevenage coupled with some poor man on man tackles from Kilburn that allowed Stevenage to get in behind Kilburn and were clinical enough to score in the right hand corner, the conversion meant Kilburn trailed by a single point 13-14. Kilburn adamant there would not be a repeat of two weeks prior applied some consistent pressure working their way up the pitch and winning a scrum 5 metres out in a great attacking position, Kilburn backs lay ready to run behind the scrum but Kilburn new comer this season Dan Oliver decided he could handle this one alone, darting to the blindside and throwing the dummy for a walk over try, skipper Hutt failed to convert the conversion. Kilburn in the lead 18-14 were then forced into an extended period of defence, Stevenage used the wind well keeping Kilburn pinned within their own 22m line, the Kilburn defence was strong and for a long 10 minutes held out resolute, unfortunately following repeated scrums and lineouts the forwards eventually struggled to withhold the Stevenage pack who picked up their first drive over try, the conversion was missed and with time dwindling Kilburn were behind 18-19. Kilburn mounted a sustained attack, with winger Pete Donaldson and full back Danny Clarke both playing well returning clearance kicks by Stevenage deep into the opposition half. Eventually some strong running and link play found Kilburn looking likely to cross the line again, a Stevenage infringement however gave Hutt the chance at a penalty and a 1 point lead, Hutt opted for the chance and struck the ball well, with the ball turning just at the end and hitting the post, in the panic Stevenage managed to retain possession and cleared. Kilburn now throwing everything at Stevenage for the win were no longer playing truly cohesive rugby, as such gaps were appearing on turn over ball and Stevenage took advantage with a dash from 20 metres unopposed, fortunately the Kilburn sweeping defence pushed the Stevenage player wide enough that the conversion was missed and Kilburn retained a losing bonus point for their efforts, but Kilburn are still left with a sour taste after being in the game for so long only to ultimately walk away empty handed.
The Kilburn coaching staff identified that they ‘could no longer make excuses as brandished around over the last 4 weeks’. ‘We have played half the teams in the league and not felt out classed on any occasion, unfortunately we have walked away with very little to show for it. The guys need a win now, it’s our job to try and facilitate that so the pressure is on us. Similarly however a number of less regular individuals have stepped up and played with desire, we are going to need that to succeed and players position is guaranteed.’
by Andy Hutt