RUGBY UNION: HIGH flying Coventry recorded their 12th successive win of the season against promotion rivals Plymouth Albion on Saturday in front of another bumper Butts Park Arena crowd.
Rowland Winter’s men edged their Devon rivals 29-14 in a closely fought contest, and the win puts Coventry in good stead with a busy schedule approaching before Christmas.
The win ensured Coventry maintain their 11 point lead at the top of the National League Division One table, though a win for second-placed Darlington ensured the race for the top spot at new year remains firmly on.
Meanwhile Plymouth’s lose cost them dearly as Ampthill & District leapfrogged the southern side into third place.
It took Coventry less than three minutes to take the lead when Will Maisey’s pass found Trimble on the left, who stormed over to record Cov’s first try. Maisey’s conversion attempt was short and wide.
The fly-half soon made amends when kicking a penalty from 21metres to earn Coventry an 8-0 lead after 17 minutes.
Just three minutes later, from their first real attack of any note, Plymouth pulled back seven points.
A penalty kick to the corner followed by a catch-and-drive was just held, notably by the efforts of Preece.
But Albion’s forwards sensed this was their opportunity, and hooker Rupert Freestone was driven over after a number of attempts had been held.
The reliable boot of Dan Mugford converted well to leave the scores at 8-7.
Hopes of Plymouth gaining a grip on the game were dashed four minutes later though when Coventry ran in their second try with the help of Kessell. Maisey’s conversion made it 15-7.
Albion registered their second try on 39 minutes after applying increased pressure on the league leaders – Sam Holmes crashing over with Mugford adding the extras.
But that proved to be the last time Albion would register any points, and Coventry took full advantage of the visitors’ woes in front of the posts.
Two converted tries opened up a 29-14 lead.
Hooker Scott Tolmie touched down twice while Maisey kicked both conversions between the posts.
The lead proved too strong, and Coventry played out the rest of the game to earn a crucial mid-season win.
Coventry: tries: Tolmie 2 (43, 52), Trimble (2), Kessell (23); conversions Maisey 3 (25, 44, 52); penalty Maisey (17).
Plymouth Albion: tries Freestone (19), Holmes (39); conversions Mugford 2 (20, 40).
Coventry: Stokes; Knox (Emery 71), Matoto, Fenner, Trimble; Maisey, Kessell; Litchfield (Titchard-jones h-t), Tolmie (Nilsen 59), Boulton (Litchfield 59), Dacres, Oram, Makaafi (Daynes 63), Preece, Narraway.
Plymouth Albion: Arnott; Crosscombe, Squire, Skinner, Raumakita (Shepherd 59); Mugford, Snow (Setter 60); Norton (Chapman 60), Freestone (Salter 75), Pullinger, Kelly (Collier 67), Lonsdale, Holmes, Mills, Grace.
Referee: Matt Turvey