A 19-point haul from Ben Summers helped Kent to an impressive victory as they opened their campaign in rugby union’s 2014 County Championship at Astley Park, home of Brixham RFC, on Saturday.
The Blackheath wing kicked a penalty and scored his side’s opening try after a fine midfield break from Westcombe Park’s Ben Hough, as the visitors responded to Devon’s early lead to trail by just two points at the interval.
But in the second period, the Kent scrum, dominant throughout, savaged the West Country county and provided the platform for four further scores.
Gravesendian wing Temi Okenla went over from a blind-side move in the 57th minute, and although Devon responded quickly to retake the lead, Old Elthamian centre Rob White crashed across after another set-piece; Summers scored his second after a strike against the head, and Sidcup number-eight Jon West added try number five as Kent triumphed 34-17.
‘It was good to start the campaign with a hard fought away win,’ said Head Coach Chris Wilkins.
‘The team spirit and work-rate of the squad has been excellent and after a patchy first half we were pleased with how our set piece and control of territory allowed us to exert pressure and pull away in the end.’
‘It was a big squad effort and those players coming off the bench played a big part in the performance.’
The win means that Kent lead the South Pool of the Bill Beaumont Cup Division Two by a single point ahead of Somerset, the county they host this weekend in a match which effectively represents a semi-final of the competition.
The winner of the match at Medway Rugby Club on Saturday gains automatic promotion to Division One for next season, and will also go on to play the winner of the North Pool (Durham or East Midlands) in the County Championship Plate Final to be staged at Twickenham on 1st June.
‘We are under no illusions that we have a tough match against Somerset on Saturday,’ continued Chris. ‘We will keep our feet on the ground and work hard this week so that we can push on and continue to improve.’
Kent against Somerset is a 3.00 pm kick-off on Saturday at Medway RFC at Priestfields Recreation Ground in Rochester. Admission is £5.
Forwards: Tom Stradwick – Capt (Blackheath), James Cleverly (Blackheath), Jamie Forsyth (Gravesend), Terry Read (Charlton Park), Charlie Cutting (Gravesend), Joe Bonner (Old Elthamians), Harry Fry (Blackheath), Ally Vanner (Old Elthamians), George Oram (Blackheath), Sox Stevens (Gravesend), Ziggy Stevens (Gravesend), Jesse Liston (Blackheath), Hamish Barton (Westcombe Park), Jon West (Sidcup)
Backs: Sam Eydmann (Blackheath), James Munton (Blackheath), Paul Humphries (Old Elthamians), Temi Okenla (Gravesend), Ben Summers (Blackheath), Alex Smith (Westcombe Park), Markus Burcham (Blackheath), Ben Hough (Westcombe Park), Rob White (Old Elthamians), Toby May (Westcombe Park), Hamish Graham (Blackheath), Matt Gallagher (Old Colfeians)