CANTERBURY 51 HENLEY HAWKS 17
This was the performance Canterbury have been promising but never quite delivering as they swept Henley aside with a seven try blast. It was the biggest win of a season which, until this Halloween romp, has been plagued by missed opportunities.
This time was different with chances turned into scores as the city club set out their stall in a blistering opening which brought seventeen points in the first eight minutes. The shockwaves left Hawks wondering what had hit them and, despite a brief fight back, they always lacked the sharpness or accuracy to pose a major threat.
Wing Guy Hilton bagged a hat trick of tries and fly half Ollie Best contributed a hefty 21 points, adding a try to his five conversions and two penalty goals, all the product of Canterbury’s hunger, clever variations and ball carrying power.. Despite the final margin, the city defence also had to earn its keep in the third quarter with Henley dominating possession as they attempted to overturn a 19-point half time deficit. But Canterbury were as adept in that department as they were elsewhere, turning over ball and stealing lineouts to frustrate the Hawks before breaking free to add three more tries..
They took the lead in the first minute of the match as Henley’s defensive frailties were exposed. Dan Smart scored from Aiden Moss’s off load and more cracks soon appeared. Ollie Best kicked a penalty goal before providing the neat inside pass for his half back partner to register his second try.
In the next ten minutes Hawks enjoyed a brief but productive period to suggest we might have a real contest on our hands. The pace and finishing strength of wing Cameron Ives earned them a try and then an unwise off-load attempt handed the visitors a second opportunity. Number Eight David Hyde made the most if it and George Jackson’s conversion cut the home lead to five. But the rally fizzled out and by half time Canterbury were back in control with the pack laying the foundation for tries by Moss and Guy Hilton, who beat a defender cleverly in the tightest of spaces
The city club rode out the early second half tests, plus a long delay for a worrying injury to lock Glynn Edwards, but sewed up the game on the hour mark. Tom Best’s break and great handling by Tom Burns and JJ Murray gave the younger Best his try. Canterbury kept up the pressure, varying their attacks with clever chip kicks, and Hilton took full advantage. His two further tries, involving pace and a great aerial challenge, were sandwiched by a Best penalty goal. Henley, looking for a losing bonus point, were disappointed.. Hyde grabbed his second try after Logan Woodbridge had been yellow carded, but they were sent home well beaten and empty handed.
Canterbury: A.Moss (repl W.Farris), G.Hilton, J.J.Murray, M.Beaumont, T.Best (repl H.Sayers, O,Best, D.Smart, J.Green (repl A.Cooper), T.Rogers (repl C.Townley), S.Kenny, G.Edwards (repl L.Woodbridge), T.Burns, T.Edwards, S.Rogers, H.McCormick-Huston
|8||Bury St Edmunds||30||77|
|13||London Irish Wild Geese||30||57|
|W||7 Apr||London Irish Wild Geese||43-7|
|L||17 Feb||Bury St. Edmunds||26-46|
|L||10 Feb||Taunton Titans||12-21|
|W||13 Jan||Old Redcliffians||48-29|
|L||23 Dec||Tonbridge Juddians||19-22|
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