Canterbury tighten grip on National 2 South promotion play-off place following 32-7 victory over Exmouth at Merton Lane
Canterbury strengthened their grip on the promotion play-off spot in National 2 South with a bonus point win over basement-boys Exmouth at a freezing Merton Lane on Saturday.
Despite hail, rain and a strong wind, the city club took the lead with a try which wouldn’t have looked out of place in perfect conditions, the backs attacking the left before clever and elusive running from top try-scorer Martyn Beaumont saw him touch down for his 14th of the season.
The flying start was confirmed when an errant pass from Exmouth was hacked forward by Guy Hilton who dashed clear to touch down and make it 10-0 after 10 minutes.
Exmouth battled back but despite playing with the wind, rarely threatened the line and the hosts’ Ricky Mackintosh had already gone close to a third try before centre Alex Veale piled forward, with the ball recycled for Beaumont and Tom Best to send Hilton over under the posts, with Best’s conversion making it 17-0.
The visitors did pull back a converted try two minutes before half-time when No8 Todd Lowry crossed after a pick-up from an attacking scrum, with Rob Avery-Wright slotting the extras.
Canterbury dominated territory after the break but the Exmouth defence battled on until Rob Lennox - on leave from the Army - sealed the bonus point with a pick-up from a scrum, and when Best added a penalty the game was all but over.
Incessant pressure on the visiting line in the closing stages did lead to a penalty try six minutes from time, converted by Reuben Meares to seal a convincing win.
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