This was creditable result for Vigo, just losing out to a good Canterbury outfit but certainly making a decent attempt. Welcoming back Alan Edwards after a lengthy injury and Pete Hayward, playing his first game for over a year, they played with great determination but eventually had to succumb to Canterbury’s greater fire power .
On a decidedly bitter day, a fresh wind adding chill factor to an already cold day, it was perhaps no surprise that Vigo started sluggishly. There again, both sides were subject to the same climactic conditions, so factor in Canterbury had first use of the slope and many of the Vigo side had not played together for some time, then it was equally unsurprising that the visitors took control right from the start, running in four tries before Vigo knew what had hit them. Slowly but surely, Vigo began to warm to the task and began to make inroads into the Canterbury defence, which had not had not too much to do until then. Harry Pattison, another to return after a lengthy injury absence, scored a typical Harry Pattison try. Dancing around and bouncing off one defender after another, he crossed for a fine individual try. A try that if he had have been tackled, would have received some opprobrium for ignoring a five man overlap, but confident in his own ability to shred any defence.
Five minutes later, it was Pattison again who scored but this time with less ornate flourishes as he tapped a quick penalty and simply ran through a huge gap as Canterbury stood off in an almost catatonic haze, possibly still mesmerised by his earlier baroque effort. Sufficiently shocked, Canterbury returned to the offensive and caught Vigo cold with a good try to reach half time with a commanding lead.
But now, Vigo had the slope and their experienced pack gave them a decent momentum. On they came, and Canterbury began to retreat. Lewis Pitchell, a promising winger, finished a good move, whilst at the other end of the age scale, Pete Hayward, with a majestic side-step crashed through for a fully deserved try. Nathan Covill converted the Pitchell effort, and suddenly Vigo had a glimpse of what had appeared an unlikely victory. They strove hard but left themselves open to a sucker punch of a breakaway try, Canterbury covering almost the length of the pitch in a devastating counter-attack to stretch their lead.
To their credit, Vigo refused to lie down and had the last words, when Dave Dunn, playing through the pain of a back injury, picked up at the base of a scrum and made ground before finding Liam Evans in support. Evans was brought down close to the line, but Dunn was at hand to finish what he had started. But Canterbury held on for the final few minutes to deny Vigo an unlikely win.
Vigo Star Man : Pete Hayward.
Team: L.Whatman; L.Pitchell, J.Knight (rep: D.Dunn), M.Gregory, R.Lancaster; H.Pattison, N.Covill; L.Walker (rep: J.Miles), A.Edwards, P.Hayward; M.Lingham (capt.), J. Miles; N.Miles, L.Evans; D.Couchman