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Canterbury 21-12 Barnes
Canterbury 21-12 Barnes

It was the staying power of a Canterbury side, who came alive in the second half, that sealed this hard won National 2 South victory. 

Trailing by twelve points at the break after failing to solve the puzzles set by the Barnes defence  their determination was rewarded with three tries. 

They fell behind early on after being pinned on their own line and centre Peter Weightman powered over to leave Rob Kirby a simple conversion. 

The city side had plenty of territory and opportunity to put that right but lacked the accuray and patience to turn it into points and a second Barnes score brought more hurt.

Despite a fine, try-saving cover tackle by Dwayne Corcoran, the visiting pack completed the job by driving James Bloxham over the line from close range. 

There was no more damage but it left Canterbury with plenty of attacking problems to solve and twelve minutes into the secondhalf they began to find solutions.  

A turnover was won, the ball spread wide and wingman Corcoran left the Barnes defence flat footed as he cut inside to touch down by the posts. Kyan Braithwaite converted but the game  was into the last ten minutes before Canterbury nosed in front. 

The visitors were under increasing pressure and it told when new boy Dave Irvine, making his home debut, charged down scrum half Miles Lloyd’s kick, gathered and scored. Braithwaite nailed the conversion for for a vital two points.

That looked precarious as Barnes fought back in the closing minutes but a great turnover and raking kick earned Canterbury a five metre scrum. 

It was a department they dominated throughout the game and and this time their powerful eight man drive won a decisive penalty try.

Canterbury: A. Moss M.Halliday (repl F.Morgan), S.Sterling, K.Braithwaite, D. Corcoran, T.Best (repl F.Reynolds), B.Cooper, A.Cooper (repl E.Lusher), B.Young, D.Herriott, R.Cadman, S.Churchyard (repl D. Irvine). J.De Vries, W.Waddington, T.Oliver.

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.