Sittingbourne XV 5
St Leonards CP 112
With the league ended Ports headed off to Kent to face a Sittingbourne Social XV.
The long journey did have an impact though and Ports could only muster 13 people to travel and Ports were unsure of the quality of opposition and despite taking an early lead through a Tom Ingram try and Luke Barningham conversion their hosts quickly struck back. Ports found extra gears though and George Upton and Max Olujobi added quick scores.
The gap seemed to break Sittingbourne spirits and Ports added a number of tries, Ingram ended the game with two, Upton with Four and Olujobi bagged his first hat-trick.
Luke Barningham had a particularly historic game, he converted all 16 tries including two of his own for a Ports record points tally of 42 points. Skipper Murray Warman also scored two, while Ashley Mountain, Mike Hutchins and a borrowed Sittingbourne player all added one.
Ports welcomed back Barry Porter for his first game in a year and his first game in the front row and saw some positional changes with Upton at centre and veteran Paul Smart was lifted in the line.
Smart was realistic in his summary of the match saying: “It was a solid game against an under-strength opposition. Sittingbourne were brave and we were respectful. We look forward to the return fixture”.
A number of players performed well. Barningham’s kicking was metronomic and his father Craig Barningham rolled back the years with an all-action performance but the E-Heat man of the match was Barry Porter. In his first rugby in a year, he carried well, tackled bravely and scrummaged strongly.
Squad Whyte, Porter, Wan, Mountain, Storey, C Barningham, Upton, Ingram, Smart, Hutchins, Warman, Olujobi, L Barningham