Match Report v Westcombe park, Saturday 18th February, away
A very good Pilgrims team travelled to Westcombe Park to take on the best side that Combe had put out all season! A poor start by the visitors did not help their cause. A knock on from the kick off, followed by a penalty for “holding on” resulted in an easy kick for the home side, who lead 3-0 within a minute! Shortly after this, the Pilgrims gave another penalty away, this time from a high tackle, this time Combe missed, still 3-0.
An incredible kick for touch went into touch by the corner flag, but from the poor throw in by the home side, Canterbury were able to clear their lines up to the twenty-two. Combe came back again, as Canterbury could not get to grips with the game, the wet weather, the slippery ball and everything else! More pressure. After a quarter of an hour ‘Park’ got another penalty for Offside, and this time they made it 6-0.
The pilgrims were still trying to get themselves into the game, nothing was going their way, and some of the decisions were harsh to say the least! After a good move by the visitors and a good lineout, from which the drive nearly forced a try, Combe repelled the attack and cleared their lines. On 26 minutes, the Captain, Vaughn Meredith, went on one of his famous solo dart and dodging runs to score, Olly Ashley-Jones converted and the lead changed, 6-7 to the visitors.
The game was getting spicy, mainly because the referee could not keep up with the fast pace of the game, not totally his fault, and both sides were brought together and spoken to. Lots of indifferent play by both sides. Charlie Kingsman, who had a great game, kicked and chased a loose ball for 70 metres, but the bounce was not favourable. More pressure by the visitors followed. Then Tom Halliday received a yellow, with 4 minutes to go before half-time. The Pilgrims were having a good spell and more pressure near the try line resulted in another pick and drive, this time by Luke Webber, who got over the line, for Olly to convert and the visitors went in at half time 6-14 up.
A ragged second half followed, the pilgrims could not throw straight at line outs, which was proving costly. Their scrum was second best all day to the home side, and from one of many that they lost, Combe peeled off the back and scored an easy try, which they duly converted, 13-14. Another penalty followed for not rolling away, this was kicked and the home side took the lead back 16-14! Was this going to be a banana skin game?
Yet more penalties and more poor line outs. Midway through the half, Luke Webber scored his second try, after a succession of ‘pick up and goes’. Charlie Kingsman converted, Pilgrims back in front 16-21. Then the pilgrims got two penalties within minutes from a very kickable position, but Kingsman missed both. At this point Canterbury were in control of the game. A great move involving the backs sent Tom Ashley-Jones away, but he was crashed into touch a few yards short. The home side kicked out, Luke Webber caught the ball, and then went on an amazing, out of this world run to score out wide, for his Hat-Trick try, this time Charlie Kingsman did not miss, 16-28, bonus point for four tries, and the win to stay top of the table, by one point.
Pilgrims have to play Dover, 3rd and Park House, 4th next. They start this Friday 24th at 7:30 v Dover at the Marine travel ground. Come along and watch the best away side in the league and play the side with the best home record. Dover are the league highest points scorers, Canterbury are second. Promises to be a great night out, come and have a saucy Flo Curry.
Scorers, Luke Webber 15, Vaughn Meredith 5, Olly Ashley-Jones and Charlie Kingsman both 4 points.