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Published: 09:00, 13 April 2014 |
Updated: 12:44, 13 April 2014
Canterbury Rugby Club's home National 2 South campaign ended in disappointment when they were beaten 31-27 by Bishop's Stortford.
Andy Pratt's side had won their previous 13 matches at Merton Lane, but they struggled to reach their usual high standards particularly in the first half which ended with them 18 points adrift.
After a tight first quarter Tom Coleman's penalty put the visitors in front and they extended their lead to 10 points when Steve Ball's try was converted by Coleman.
A yellow card to Sam Winter then reduced Stortford to 14 but although Tom Best kicked a penalty to put Canterbury on the board, it was the visitors who continued to dictate,with Nick Hankin crossing for a try converted by Coleman.
Another Best penalty made the score 17-6 but right on half-time Stortford scrum-half Tom Banks punished some poor tackling to claim his side's third try, again converted by Coleman.
Canterbury made the perfect start to the second half when George Micans went over for a try which Best converted, but the comeback never really materialised and Stortford opened up a 31-13 lead when hooker Sam James went over for a try and Coleman added his fourth conversion.
Canterbury did at least stage a late rally with Martyn Beaumont, and man-of-the-match Sam Rogers going over for tries - both converted by Best - but it was too little too late.
Hartpury College's 39-30 home win over Ampthill confirmed them as champions while Canterbury - who travel to Clifton for their final game on April 26 - are second, but only one point clear of Ampthill, who have played a game less. Bishop's Stortford, in fourth, are eight points behind Canterbury, but have also played one less.
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