Canterbury 10-19 Henley Hawks
Canterbury 10-19 Henley Hawks

It was a pointless day for Canterbury after Hawks ran in a late try to seal victory in a game which often failed to rise above the ordinary. 

Henley deserved their success and might have won more convincingly had they taken all their opportunities but slack work at crucial moments and an obdurate defence denied them. 

Despite spending the first 20 minutes pinned on the back foot Canterbury eventually found a way out and went ahead through the only try of the first half.

Hawks spilled the ball, giving Kyan Braithwaite and Tom Best the chance to combine and send Guy Hilton over. It left Frank Reynolds with a difficult conversion and he shanked his kick badly.  

It was a score that lifted the city side’s mood but a poor second half saw it wasted as life was made too easy for the visitors. 

Two minutes after the restart they fell behind as Braithwaite was caught in possession, Henley forced the penalty and Sam Lunnon was driven over from the lineout.

Cail Coookland converted and was on target again when  the visitors were gifted another bonus. 

A yellow card for Danny Herriott left the home side a man short and that handicap lead to points. 

Hawks went for the wide channels, Canterbury ran out of defenders and centre Will Panday stolled over. 

The score came in the 66th minute but memories of a late revival in Canterbury’s last home game quickly surfaced as they claimed a second try. 

An attacking lineout went wrong but Henley tapped the ball over their own line and Tyler Oliver swooped to touchdown.

Reynolds’ kick went astray but there were to be no second miracles. Another Canterbury error, this time losing the ball in contact, was all Hawks needed and three minutes from the end Panday’s second try denied them the consolation of a losing bonus point.  

Canterbury: K. Braithwaite, G.Hilton (repl J.Weaver), F.Morgan, T.Best, T.Williams (repl M.Halliday), F.Reynolds, B.Cooper, A.Cooper (repl W.McColl), T.King, D.Herriott (repl E.Lusher), R.Cadman, J.De Vries (repl A.Evans), J.Stephens, S.Rogers, T.Oliver.

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.