Match report. Maidstone v Canterbury Pilgrims, 11th March
Canterbury Pilgrims achieved Promotion at the first attempt in a new league, Counties 2, made up of 1st XV teams and 4 top level clubs 2nd XV’s, A great achievement. Pilgrims travelled to once mighty Maidstone and needed a bonus point win to stay in second place, and guarantee promotion to Counties 1. A league with only 1st XV’s in, where they will play local sides, Ashford, Thanet and Deal and Betteshanger, hopefully on a Friday night under lights! Pilgrims only just scraped a team together, but still a very good one! The first half was more like a war of attrition! 85% of the time the Pilgrims were playing in the opposition half, but things would not go their way. Some excellent play, some fantastic passing, excellent support, strong tackling and more, but the first points on the board game in first half overtime! A Horrendous head high tackle on Presley Farrance went unseen, and some other decision were not going in favour of the visitors! Just before half-time Maidstone had a player yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, from the penalty Jesse De Vries drove over for a converted try, that he took himself, 0-7 to Pilgrims at half-Time. Adam Malik, who had been having a good game, was injured early in the second half. Ollie Finn immediately scored a try, which Jesse failed to convert, 0-12. Good inter-passing by the visitors started to stretch the home side. Tom Ashley-jones was put away out wide after excellent open play rugby, this time Jesse slotted from out by the touchline, 0-19. James read then had a collision with a Maidstone player, but was deemed to have fouled him! Pilgrims were down to 14 as a Yellow card was shown, James came off with a broken nose! During this time Maidstone scored an excellent try out wide, but could not convert. 5-19 Jack Green came on for Adrian Geddes, and Dan Hill, making a welcome return, came on for James Read. A strong move, called ‘Bulldozer’ saw Alex Evans scores a try, duly converted by Jesse De Vries 5-26. Presley, who had another good game, got the ball to Ollie Finn to score his second try, 5-31. Maidstone rallied in the last few minutes, but could not stop the pilgrims gaining promotion, the home side still need to get a point in their last game to avoid relegation. We wish them well. Canterbury play their last game of the league season this Saturday at home v Old Dunstonians. A win by a massive score, like 80-0 could see them take the title, but as they have lost twice to Dover, second is a fantastic achievement and there is going to be a party after the game to celebrate their achievement. Come along and watch Pilgrims at the Marine travel ground, kick off 3:00, on the 18th.
The Marine Travel Ground is going to be the place to watch top rugby next year with the 1st and 2nd teams both playing at a very good level. If you are a player, perhaps you should think about joining before it is too late!
Won 5-31 (H-T 0-7). Ollie Finn, 10, Jesse De Vries 5+6(11), Tom Ashley-Jones, Alex Evans, 5.