Canterbury RFC tighten grip on National 2 South promotion play-off place after 24-17 win at Chinnor
Canterbury tightened their grip on the National 2 South promotion play-off place after a first-half blitz ensured them a 24-17 win on the road at Chinnor on Saturday.
The city club produced some of their most impressive rugby of the season as they raced into a 21-point lead before half-time in Oxfordshire, scoring four tries and sealing the bonus point in the process, though their intensity, and discipline, slipped after the break and they were in danger of letting the victory slip away late-on.
The hosts took the lead from an early penalty from Will Millett but the visitors played some fine rugby, wearing down their opponents and soon took the lead when Brook Cowan dropped over the line for a try after a classic driving maul following a lineout.
Canterbury piled on more pressure and Connor Wallace-Sims collected a Chinnor kick and fed Guy Hilton who burst through a gap before sending Tom Rogers over to score.
Hilton turned on the jets to extend the lead still further with a 45 metre arching run outside the last man to register a fine solo try.
The hosts were struggling to cope with the pressure and they lost flanker Andy Tibbatts to the sin-bin, with Canterbury capitalising with a second catch-and-drive score from Cowan, with Tom Best’s second successful conversion making it 24-3 at the turnaround.
A further score at the start of the second half might have put the game to bed, however the visitors started to concede penalties and Rogers was yellow-carded for cumulative offences and Chinnor made the most of their advantage with a catch-and-drive try from Tom Whelan, converted by Millett.
More penalties followed and Royce Cadman was sin-binned for the visitors before Liam Gilbert touched down from another lineout drive, with Millett’s conversion making it a seven-point game.
In the closing stages the city club had to battle furiously to protect their lead but held on to move five points clear of third-placed Cambridge, who lost at home to Bishop's Stortford.
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