'Combe blown away by Canterbury pack
MAKE mine a double was the order of the day from Canterbury supporters, and they got their wish as the city side added the Kent Cup to the league title.
It wasn't the most fluent of displays from the city side but a forward pack that squeezed the life out of 'Combe at the set scrums and held the edge in most other areas propelled them to victory.
A strong wind was at 'Combe's backs, and for the first 20 minutes they made the most of it.
The pressure brought them penalties and Giles struck three immaculate kicks to give his side a nine point lead.
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What they could not do was find a way to the try line, and once the city pack had established a foothold 'Combe were in trouble.
Sniping runs around the fringes from scrum half Dave Marshall and some heavy duty ball carrying by number eight Max Cantwell began to make inroads, before the scrum went to work and changed the game.
Twice 'Combe were rolled back, twice they broke up illegally and referee Terry Hall awarded a penalty try, converted by Will Hilton.
That gave Canterbury momentum and on 30 minutes they added a second when a penalty took them within five metres and a lineout and two drives later Cantwell was over.
Hilton could not convert but Canterbury were in front at the break.
Then 11 minutes after the restart centre Paul Brown scored a third try with his first touch after replacing Alex Povel,
Hilton's conversion suggested Canterbury might run away with it, but an obdurate defence and a positive attitude hauled 'Combe back into contention.
They exerted pressure for the first time in the half and Canterbury must have had some doubts when Hilton's sin-binning left them a man down.
They held on for almost 10 minutes but 'Combe, sensing their chance, eventually got their reward when wing Luke Maynard scored a simple try.
Although the conversion was missed the game had been thrown open again and Canterbury had work to do in the final 15 minutes as they set about dominating territory and the returning Hilton hit a post with a penalty attempt.
But 'Combe, who will regret not making the most of that wind in the first half, were now forced to play catch up rugby and as they attempted to run out of defence, a scything tackle by George Micans forced another penalty.
This time Hilton did not miss and the cup was back in Canterbury after an absence of four years.
Canterbury: Hilton, Mackintosh, Del Val, Povel (Brown), Beaumont, Woodbridge, Marshall, Green, T Rogers (S Rogers), Goode (Pinnick), Massey, Corr, Micans, Kelly, Cantwell.