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Sheppey Rugby Club start new season with victory over Gillingham Anchorians in Kent 1

Peter Olliver
Peter Olliver

Sheppey underlined that they mean business in Kent 1 this season by winning their opening game 18-5 at Gillingham Anchorians on Saturday.

Anchorians were determined to avenge their Kent Salver Cup defeat against Sheppey in April but they were overpowered up front by Peter Olliver’s side.

The Sheppey coach said: "It was a tough game physically but the boys were up for it and, although we made a slow start, after that we were always in control."

But it was Anchorians who were quickest out of the blocks and their early pressure paid off when Kenton Parbutt picked up a loose ball for Andy Pritchard to score an unconverted try.

That seemed to be the spur that Sheppey needed and, after a period of sustained pressure, they finally broke through with a try by Bradley Box, which he converted to give his side a 7-5 half-time lead.

Box converted two penalties at the start of the second half to increase Sheppey’s lead to 13-5 and when Tariu Kautai powered his way over, Sheppey were in total control. Athough Sheppey had wing Chris Bain sin-binned, they held on for an excellent victory.

Sheppey face another big test on Saturday when they host local rivals Sittingbourne at The Ditch.

Sittingbourne also won their opening game 40-6 against Whitstable on Saturday and Olliver added: "It doesn’t matter where the teams are in the league, when they play each other it’s always a battle royal."

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