Pilgrims Take Control
SEVENOAKS 2ND 5 CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 17
Twenty three players travelled to Sevenoaks, trying to make a new side gel. With changes throughout the game it was not an easy task for Head Coach, Jon Foster, but with some help from the injured First team player Will Waddington, this was achieved. The players however did not always do what they have been asked to do! From the kick off, the visitors made an error that nearly let Oaks in for a try. Dan Huntley, Sonny Trew-Neville and Tom Halliday’s combination nearly gave Pilgrims the lead and more excellent attacking play seemed likely to result in a score, but not to be. Brad Law tried a little grubber kick and chase, still no luck. A couple of penalties, a few line outs, Pilgrims camped in the opposition twenty two, but still no score. Then on 14 minutes, after a great kick and chase by Halliday, and the resulting scrum, Pilgrims got the ball wide to Max Campbell to speed over but Brad failed with his conversion.Jesse De Vries and Freddie Holland-Oliver came on for Dan Huntley and Will Hunt. It should have opened the flood gates, but Sevenoaks were made of sterner stuff. They proceeded to make it difficult for a talented Canterbury side, so much so, after 30 minutes, a missed tackle saw the home side run through to score, but fail to convert. Half-Time arrived with the sides locked 5-5.An excellent team talk by captain, Ben Cooper, and the introduction of Harry Andrews, Tom Mackenzie and Michael Fankah saw the Pilgrims take back control in the second half, but they could not take advantage of all their possession! Knock-ons, poor passing and a lack of patience meant that after 20 minutes it was still level, and all to play for. Even the return after two years recovering from serious injuries of Will Hunt, Seb Clark and Gus Lister was not enough, but they all got through the game without any problems. There was more frustration when Lister broke free, got the ball to Harry Andrews, but when a try was there for the taking, he knocked on! Then Cameron Macmillan, player of the match, peeled of the back of a rolling maul for an unconverted score. More pressure built, Trew-Neville went over and Lister converted.
The final result was correct, but the Pilgrims have much to work on over the next two weeks before they start the league campaign against Beccehamian on Saturday 16th September at The Marine Travel ground. Come along and watch their quest to win in an all Ist XV team league.