WHITCHURCH Rugby Club's tough start to the season has continued, as they lost 36-14 away from home to Kenilworth.

Despite the loss, it was a much improved performance from Whitchurch who, still understrength, troubled the much fancied home side.

The score does not accurately reflect the game which saw the red men concede an interception try and a bizarre decision by the referee that gifted the home side another.

It was Whitchurch, in fact, who scored the first try through a sparkling backs move, finished off by the outstanding Henry Hockenhull and converted by the immaculate boot of Danny Nicholas.

Kenilworth soon hit back though with a penalty under the posts.

This was swiftly followed by a try from the larger home pack who battered their way over for a converted try.

The Whitchurch side responded with a series of attacks but the home side held out with some ferocious tackling.

It was after this the Edgeley Road men suffered a blow which they found difficult to come back from.

They were on the attack and looking dangerous when a long pass was intercepted and the Kenilworth centre ran through to score under the posts, leaving Whitchurch trailing 17-7 at half time.

The second half started with some encouragement for the visitors but they soon found themselves down to fourteen men when a yellow card was shown to Tom Davies for a technical offence.

The bigger, heavier home pack now began to bully their way around the field and it was not long before they scored again and Robbie Leighton was forced from the field with a head injury and was replaced by Ryan Horton, making his first appearance this season.

Whitchurch now showed their own strength and Nathan Horton, just on as a replacement for Jake Dodwell, belied his youthful inexperience to force his way over for a try which Nicholas converted.

Following this another yellow card came in a bizarre fashion. The referee had told Darren Blackhurst that he was “fine” as he manoeuvred his way around a maul, only to then penalise and card him for the same manoeuvre.

Shortly after there was a scrum just inside the Whitchurch 22 metre line. The Kenilworth pack wheeled the scrum to the right as they prepared for a number eight pick up but he knocked on.

For this the referee gave Kenilworth a penalty, saying it was the away team that had wheeled the scrum.

Whitchurch were still trying to understand this when the home stand off tapped and raced through for a try under the posts.

A further penalty gave the home side a flattering final score but Whitchurch can look forward to better times as their injury list improves.

Coach Scott Sturdy, who had come on a as replacement prop, said after the game that he was disappointed but not downhearted and knew that the side were getting better every week.

Meanwhile Whitchurch seconds also faced a tough time, losing 47-7 away to Sandbach.

The game was a tough one, with Sandbach being a well drilled side who clearly train together.

Whitchurch competed well in the first half only trailing 12-7, with a try scored by Ollie Cowley.

A second half red card, combined with a couple of injuries and more tired bodies allowed Sandbach to take control and gaps opened up in the final twenty minutes as fifteen played thirteen.