NATIONAL 2 SOUTH
CHINNOR’S fightback fell just short in a 24-17 home defeat to second-placed Canterbury.
The hosts trailed 24-3 after Canterbury dominated the first half, but hit back to claim a losing bonus point.
Only solid defence in the final minutes protected the visitors’ slender lead.
Chinnor fly half Will Millett kicked them ahead with a second-minute penalty, but it was all Canterbury after that.
A classic driving maul led to a try from flanker Brook Cowan.
Next up, fly half Guy Hilton put the supporting hooker Tom Rogers over behind the posts, converted by centre Tom Best.
Hilton arced outside Chinnor full back Ricky Hopwood for a cracking individual try.
Chinnor were stretched to the limit and when flanker Andy Tibbatts went to the sin bin, they paid the inevitable price.
Another catch-and-drive saw Cowan grab his second try and Best's conversion made it 24-3.
Chinnor gradually clawed their way back in the second half and began to edge the penalty count.
One of these saw Rogers yellow-carded before replacement prop Tom Whelan was driven over for Chinnor, with Millett converting.
Canterbury missed one decent chance, but Chinnor were now controlling the territory.
Eight minutes from time, Canterbury lock Royce Cadman was sin-binned and the Chinnor’s forwards combined for a powerful catch-and-drive try.
Captain Liam Gilbert was the scorer and Millett converted, but the visitors held on.