Official match report
BISHOP’S STORTFORD 43 CANTERBURY 0
There was an all too familiar pattern to this latest Canterbury defeat as first half defiance became second half misery. Once again the city side were unable to sustain their effort beyond 40 minutes as Stortford’s superior pace and speed of thought earned them a comfortable victory.
At half time Canterbury were only ten points behind, commendable for a side already heavily disrupted by injuries and here further handicapped through the absence of any senior prop forwards.
They got to grips with some of their scrummaging problems, gave little away in defence and if the attack lacked the necessary razor’s edge they at least kept Stortford on their toes.
Tom Banks gave the home side the lead with a 16th minute penalty goal but they could not break Canterbury’s resistance until a growing penalty count led to the opening try. Even then Stortford had to work hard before they made space for centre Mike Ayton to touch down. Banks converted but at the break it seemed we still had a game on our hands.
That optimism was quickly squashed as the city men conceded a try four minutes into the new half, Will Roberts brushing aside a couple of tackles to give his side the ideal fillip. From that point Canterbury became a shadow of their earlier selves, prone to basic errors, falling off important tackles and failing to counter Stortford’s excellent off-loading skills. Luck went against them a couple of times, the ball breaking handily for the home side but that could not disguise the increasingly ragged nature of the performance. It was reflected in a torrent of penalties and a lack of accuracy and penetration when they did have the ball. Stortford assumed total command and cruised away with tries from Josh Stannard and two for mobile lock Tom Lewis before Sam Cappaert rounded thing off with a sixth score. Banks and Aaron Pope shared three conversions. For Canterbury there was much to admire in the unflinching work of Tristan King and Jack Rouse and a glimpse of the future with the debut from the replacements bench of 19-year-old Tom Williams. It is the present, however, that remains clouded.
Canterbury: M. Craven, R.Mackintosh, J.J.Murray (repl T.Best), W.Waddington), C.Grimes, A.Meads, D.Smart (repl T.Williams), J.Otto (repl A Wake-Smith), T.King, E.Lusher (rep J.Otto), R.Cadman, W.Scholes (repl A.Thompson), J.Stephens, J.Rouse ,T.Oliver (repl G.Syminton).