This was a victory against the odds for a Pilgrims side featuring four debutants and, at one stage, reduced to thirteen men after being shown two yellow cards. Star of the show was new wingman Dom Barnaby who collected a hat trick of tries, but it was a massive defensive effort by the side when they were short handed that saw them through. Barnaby sprinted over inside the first two minutes, which with Will Hilton’s conversion, gave Canterbury an ideal start. However, it did not last and OAs went in front through two converted tries before Pilgrims got back on track. Hilton’s run and Barnaby’s pace brought them level, before some great handling saw the lead restored through Simon Jaynes try. Hilton, who added the extras to the Barnaby touchdown, then stretched his side a further ahead with two penalty goals, but a poor kick was punished by OAs who hit back with a seven pointer.
By half time a fourth try, this time for Frank Morgan, converted by Hilton, gave the city side an eleven point advantage but in the second half the sin binnings of Morgan and Ross Howard threatened to undo all the good work. The home side punished those decisions with a converted try but Pilgrims defence weathered the storm superbly before tries by another debutant, Ollie Roberts and Barnaby, the last converted by Hilton, sealed the win. OAs had the consolation of a late score but it was the resilient city men who deserved a success which lifted them to third place in the Zoo League.
Canterbury: A.Miller, G.Hilton, R.Mackintosh, F.Morgan, D.Barnaby, W.Hilton, R.Howard, C.Townley, C.Watson, D.Gill, J.Craig, S.Jaynes, L.Whetton, E.Deacon, A.Wake-Smith, G.Connor, J.Childs, G.Jewell