Stradwick to lead Kent at HQ

News Shopper: Kent skipper Tom Stradwick in Blackheath colours.  Photo: Helen Watson Kent skipper Tom Stradwick in Blackheath colours. Photo: Helen Watson

Blackheath second-row Tom Stradwick will lead Kent out at Twickenham next Sunday when they take on Durham in the county championship Plate final.

Kent booked their trip to HQ on Saturday with a 28-9 victory against Somerset at Medway Rugby Club to top the South Pool of Bill Beaumont Division Two, which also won them promotion to the top tier of the competition for 2015.

With handling conditions made difficult for both sides following a massive storm prior to kick-off, the host county scored the only try of the first period when a scything break from wing Renford Bennett allowed fellow-Old Elthamian Joe Bonner to cross in the left corner.

Three penalties from Somerset and Cleve fly-half Joe Hall kept the visitors in touch at 11-9 at the break but, from the re-start, Kent upped the pace and harried their opponents into the mistakes that allowed the hosts to stretch away.

An overthrown defensive line-out was collected at the tail by Sidcup number-eight Jon West who twisted his way over the goal-line, and after Blackheath full-back Ben Summers had landed his third penalty of the contest, Tonbridge Juddian fly-half Luke Giles stormed over following Somerset coming up off-side at the maul. 

‘It was good to see the squad push on and raise its game against Somerset after a good week’s preparation,’ said head coach Chris Wilkins.

‘Everyone has worked hard, and it is now important that we focus on training well this week so we can improve again as we have a very tough match against a quality Durham side.’

‘Whilst it is great to get to Twickenham, we want to make sure we play well and finish the job off.’

The Kent against Durham final kicks-off at 10.00 am on Sunday 1st June at Twickenham and is followed by the Bill Beaumont Cup Final, featuring Cornwall and Lancashire, and the England v Barbarians game.

Kent
Ben Summers (Blackheath), Temi Okenla (Gravesend), Ben Hough (Westcombe Park), Markus Burcham (Blackheath), Renford Bennett (Old Elthamian), Paul Humphries (Old Elthamian), Sam Eydmann (Blackheath), Charlie Cutting (Gravesend), Joe Bonner (Old Elthamian), Jamie Forsyth (Gravesend), Tom Stradwick – Capt (Blackheath), Ally Vanner (Old Elthamian), Jesse Liston (Blackheath), Hamish Barton (Westcombe Park), Jon West (Sidcup)
Replacements
Harry Fry (Blackheath), James Cleverly (Blackheath), Terry Read (Charlton Park), Royce Cadman (Canterbury), James Munton (Blackheath), Luke Giles (Tonbridge Juddian), Martyn Beaumont (Canterbury)
 

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