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Canterbury 34-21 Sevenoaks
Canterbury 34-21 Sevenoaks

Canterbury ended their league campaign in positive style with this bonus point victory which sealed a seventh place finish in National 2 East.

The season’s biggest crowd watched the city club take charge of the first half, ride out a Sevenoaks challenge in the final quarter and send their Kent rivals home empty handed.

Three of Canterbury’s four tries came in the first forty minutes and it was the back division that brought a touch of flair to all of them.  

Frank Morgan got the first after only seven minutes, the centre cantering under the posts when wing Alfie Orris slipped into the line to carve out the gap. 

A sin binning for flanker Harvey Furneaux might have put a damper his side’s ambitions, but not a bit of it and they scored again. 

A great turnover over by Tom Mackenzie forced a scrum and on the Oaks’ 22 metre line and scrum half Presley Farrance sold the sweetest of dummies to the visitors back row before sprinting over. 

Sevenoaks had hardly been seen as an attacking threat but five minutes before the break they took their chance when Canterbury lost possession and a loose ball gave them field position. They forced a five metre scrum then mounted a series of close range drives before Matt McCrae crashed over and Ben Adams converted.  

That lapse stung Canterbury into the swiftest of replies as they won the ball at the restart, launched the backs and it was Morgan’s show and go that brought him a second try. 

The league’s top points scorer, Frank Reynolds, landed his third conversion and in the final minute of the half added a penalty goal to open a 24-7 lead.

Things got even better just three minutes after the break when the city backs ran the ball from deep, put Orris into space and he stormed home, running over defenders in a spectacular 50 metre run. 

With another Reynolds conversion and a bonus point in their pocket  Canterbury may have thought the job was done and they lost concentration. 

As they failed to look after the ball it gave Sevenoaks new momentum and they punished the homemside for their shortcomings. 

Two tries from centre Barney Stone, both converted by Adams, could have been the prelude to an upset in those last 20 minutes but the city side settled again, albeit uneasily, until a final Reynolds penalty goal gave them back control.

Canterbury; W.Hilton (repl T.Best), G.Jones, F.Morgan, W.Waddington, F.Reynolds, P.Farrance (repl B.Cooper), C.Macmillan (repl D.Huntley), E.O’Donoghue, E.Lusher, C.Murray (repl S.Kerry), J.De Vries, T.Mackenzie (repl N.Morrris), H.Furneaux, J.Stephens.

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.