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Canterbury Pilgrims 0-24 Gravesend XV
Gravesend rang the changes for their Kent Cup semi-final away to Canterbury Pilgrims on Wednesday, and without exception they stepped up to the plate.
In conditions that were already making the game doubtful, as a low mist was closing in over the pitch, both teams played out some hard fought, close passing rugby that helped referee Johann Delport keep the game moving.
Early pressure from the Gravesend back row and the ball being played hand to hand, Adam Aigbokhae cross after just three minutes.
Miki Zanirato added the conversion for a quick 0-7 lead.
The Canterbury pack were recycling the ball well, but no matter what they tried, the Gsss defence line was immense. Cuttings and Klus could be seen through the mist putting some big hits on the home attack.
Meanwhile the backs were playing their role of slowing down their opposite numbers, leaving no way through.
A second try and conversion from the same pair came after twenty-eight minutes and at this time the spectators couldn't see from one side of the park to the other.
From what was a well mannered game, Gsss were found guilty of far two many transgressions and the resulting field kicks kept Canterbury in or close to the visitors twenty-two metre area.
Plenty of good attacks from an equal share of the ball, and it was a rare penalty from the home side that gave Zanirato the chance which he duly added from the tee.
0-17 at half time, and the mist lifting, the second forty saw some good competitive sport played at full pace throughout.
Again a rising penalty count saw Gravesend reduced to fourteen men for ten minutes, and as the one sin-bin came to an end, another started, and for a full twenty minutes Gs fourteen were made to defend.
This they did well and confidently, keeping the marauding Canterbury XV at bay, closing down their moves and spoiling the enjoyment of the home supporters.
From the stands it looked to be just a matter of time before the home XV would get on the score sheet, but this they couldn't achieve.
When Gsss were back to full strength for the last two minutes of the game, a penalty to the corner, saw the ball won, driven and once again Aigbokhae was on top of the ball over the try line.
Zanirato added the conversion bringing the final score to 0-24 with the last kick of the game.
The team:15 Temitope Okenla; 14 Scott Curley; 13 Will Meddings; 12 Matt Haywood; 11 Tommy Goss; 10 Gary Gray; 9 Miki Zanirato; 1 Charlie Cutting; 2 Warren McKee; 3 Marc Klu; 4 Dave Brook-Smith; 5 James Newman; 6 Sox Stevens; 7 Adam Aigbokhae; 8 Ross Comfort; Replacements Tom Bird; Remus Necular; Junior Rocket; Jamie Forsyth.
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