Match Report Canterbury 5th v Ashford 3rd
Canterbury 27pts. Ashford 3rd 24pts.
The city took on a strong Ashford side that tested Canterbury in their bid to remain top of their table. It was the city that stuck first with a typical charging run from Brad Alchurch touching down in the corner to open the account, but Ashford were not overawed by this early score and probably had their best passage of play of the game breaking through for two trys in the twentieth and twenty seventh minute. Canterbury tightened up with their forwards taking charge in the loose making ground before Matt Capper finished off near the posts, and Jerome Swan to slot the conversion to give the city a slender two-point half time lead.
The second half started well for Canterbury with Jack Rougham out of the blocks breaking the Ashford defence for a well taken try, both sides now were locked in the battle of the forwards with the city having the slight edge in the amount of turnover ball thanks to the contribution of Alex Acaster and the pack. This gave their backs the opportunity to exploit a stretched defence making the pressure pay with a try from Leon Goode putting clear water between the two sides for the first time. The city pack was holding up well both in the set piece and the loose, but a moments lack of concentration and a well-executed move put Ashford back in contention with a well taken converted try. The Zingari had to do it all again with the forwards working their way into striking distance of the Ashford line before eagle eyed Justin Lello spotted a half gap on the blindside of a maul to dive in the corner. This score was needed as Ashford throwing everything into the closing minutes were rewarded setting up a maul a few meters from the Canterbury line then sending the ball wide outstripping the cover to touch down in the corner, too late to alter the outcome but demonstrated the hard-fought nature of this contest. Maybe a closer win than the Zingari would have liked thanks to the competitive nature of Ashford, but a small significant step to their league title ambitions.
Brad Alchurch 1
Matt Capper 1
Jack Rougham 1
Leon Goode 1
Justin Lello 1
Jerome Swan 1