For the second season in a row the Pilgrims travelled to Old Albanians short of players! They managed to pick one up on the way! and that made the difference in the end.
This ended by being a defining match for the players and the Coaching staff, the second half performance alone was outstanding, boys’ became men on this afternoon!
Within 2 minutes the Visitors missed a tackle and the Home side walked through for an easy try, but they missed the conversion. For the next ten minutes things did not look good for the Pilgrims, more mistakes, running poor lines and handling ensued.
Seb Roche, making a long awaited comeback, got injured, then Josh Holt made a great tackle, but then speared into the ground and did not move! The Physio’s from Canterbury, Old Albanians and
London Irish then treated him as the much needed ambulance was going to take over 3 hours!, even for a neck injury. Canterbury’s only two substitutions were now on and they still had 20 minutes to go to half time.
Then it started, the backs got things going with Izaac Timms levelling the scores at 5-5. Within minutes another good move, involving a kick and chase and Frank Morgan scored for man of the Match Alex Meads to convert, the Pilgrims lead 5-12. The inform Kieron Thompson then broke though and with the conversion missed Canterbury lead 5-17.
Things then got worse for the visitors, Ed Oram, got hurt and had to leave the field, Canterbury now down to 14! Half time came .
The second half was fantastic, with backs to the wall, and everyone playing for their lives. Joe Craig went down injured, down to 13 while he was strapped up and sent back on. Alex Wake-smith scored and Frank Morgan converted, the lead was now 24-5. The bodies were getting tired, Freddie Allen was having a great game , Wake-Smith was getting the best out of the pack, Craig was leading his troops, the boys were fighting. Old Albanians put every last effort into their play, Leroy Chiapa, who was having a good game, put a hand into where you can’t and got a Yellow card, down to 13 (12 1/2) if you count the limping Captain!
The home side scored a converted try 12-24. The home side scored again, but missed the conversion 17-24.The final whistle went and the Pilgrims had won a very hard fought game. Josh was released from Hospital with soft tissue damage, and with Seb and Ed, will not be playing until next year!
The remnants of the team will assemble to play Beckenham at home this weekend before they have a well deserved Christmas break.