A STANDOUT performance from Kent full-back Martyn Beaumont put Durham to the sword in the County Championship Division Two Plate final at Twickenham on Sunday.
Beaumont had a hand in three of Kent’s four tries, scoring one and setting up two more at Rugby HQ.
Despite dominating possession Kent fell behind when Tom Hodgson successfully converted the first of his three first-half penalties following a ruck infringement on 20 minutes.
But the opening try of the game went Kent’s way five minutes before the break when Ben Hough touched down after Beaumont skipped his way past four tackles before passing out wide for the centre to score.
And, in the final minute of the first half, Kent captain Thomas Stradwick side-stepped a tackle on the halfway line before crashing over to leave Durham 16-9 adrift at the break, with Luke Giles earlier firing over two penalties.
The score remained unchanged until the hour mark when Kent substitute James Munton went over between the posts following a powerful run from winger Renford Bennett – with Giles adding the extras.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Durham reduced the deficit when captain Chris Wearmouth touched down following a quickly-taken penalty inside Kent’s 22 and Hodgson notched the conversion.
Kent instantly responded, though, and five minutes later the ball made its way out wide to Beaumont who raced to the line after several phases in Durham’s half.
Callum Mackenzie scored a consolation try for Martin Pepper’s side with two minutes remaining when he raced through a hole in the Kent defence and Hodgson quickly added another penalty.
But replacement Paul Humphries notched a late penalty of his own to give Kent a resounding victory.
Tries: Wearmouth 65, Mackenzie 78
Cons: T. Hodgson 66
Pens: T. Hodgson 20, 24, 33, 79
Tries: Hough 35, Stradwick 39, Munton 60, Beaumont 70
Cons: Giles 61,
Pens: Giles 22, 38, Humphries 80
HT Score: Durham 9 – 16 Kent
Durham: Evans, Husband, Mitchell, Bramwell, Wilson, T. Hodgson, Finney, Appleby, Thirkell, Davidson, Wearmouth, Malcolm, O. Hodgson, Mackenzie, Powell
Replacements: Morris, Forrester, Bennett, Knox, Johnstone, Dodd, Burns, Dominick
Kent: Beaumont, White, Hough, Burcham, Bennett, Giles, Eydmann, Cutting, Bonner, Forsyth, Cadman, Vanner, Stradwick, Barton, West
Replacements: Fry, Cleverley, Read, Liston, Munton, Humphries, Gallagher