Second Half Show
CRANBROOK 19 CANTERBURY PILGRIMS 43
by John Mitchell
This was never going to be an easy game for a much changed Pilgrims The first team had taken the captain and a number of other players, so it was all hands on deck and it was not until the second half that they took charge,
Things did not start well for the league leaders. Within four minutes Cranbrook took advantage of errors and missed tackles and powered through for a converted try. However, Pilgrims struck back quickly as good work by fly half by Presley Farrance saw him dive over for the first of his four tries.
Then came the penalties – six in ten minutes at one stage – and Pilgrims paid for their indiscipline. Cranbrook kicked three of them to go 16-5 in front and with Canterbury still making errors after half an hour things were not looking good.
Then it all changed as Pilgrims put together their best move of the day and Gus Lister sprinted through and converted his own his try. There could have been more as Pilgrims continued to press but they reached half time still four points in arrears. After the break the penalty count haunted Pilgrims again but luckily did not cost more points. However there was more trouble when, in quick succession, there were yellow cards for Korben Grant and Hector Valldares
and they were down to thirteen players.
Those set backs spurred the side to life and great pressure ended with Farrance scoring his second, converted by Will Hilton, to put the visitors ahead for the first time. Cranbrook levelled matters with a penalty goal but from that point Pilgrims took a firm grip on the game.
Man of the match Farrance went over for two more tries before the best team move of the day saw Josh Richardson cross. Sonny Trew-Neville was denied a score by an unsighted referee but he did not have to wait long. The outstanding Jordan Constant slipped the ball to him for the seventh and final touchdown and a couple more Hilton conversions helped the score past the 40 mark. The win kept the Pilgrims firmly at the top of the Counties 1 Kent table with a played 13, won 13 record. This coming weekend they meet Heathfield and Waldron at the Marine Travel Ground at 2pm.