HENLEY Hawks conceded a late try as their promotion hopes were dealt a major blow in a 33-26 defeat at second-placed Canterbury.

The Oxfordshire side had led by 14 points at half-time, but their rivals, who sit in National League 2 South’s only play-off place, staged an impressive comeback.

Henley are now seven points adrift of second with four games left.

Canterbury opened the scoring through Dan Smart’s try, Harvey Young converting, but Henley went on to control the rest of the first half.

Dave Hyde, Jake Albon and Ian Stock crossed, Ben Bolster adding the extras, as they led 21-7 at the interval.

The hosts were given a glimmer of hope when Charlie Grimes went over, Young converting.

But Henley took advantage of Sam Sterling’s yellow card to make it 26-14, Bolster crossing.

Canterbury were not finished, though, and levelled the contest, thanks to tries from Jamie Stephens and Sean Stapleton, Young converting the latter.

And just when the game looked to be heading for a draw, Tom Best went over in the final minute, Young adding the extras.

Chinnor were beaten 31-22 at Sale in National League 1.

Bertie Hopkin’s 17th-minute penalty put the visitors ahead.

But Sale replied to go 7-3 in front when Chris Taylor dived over, Kieran Wilkinson adding the extras.

Matt Postlethwaite was sin-binned for the hosts and Chinnor made the extra man count, Ben Thomas dotting down, Hopkin converting, to make it 10-7 at half-time.

Sale responded well, Dan Birch forcing his way over, Wilkinson converting, before a penalty try made it 21-10.

Chinnor were not finished and Craig Holland’s try, Hopkin adding the extras, cut the deficit to four points with 15 minutes to go.

A Wilkinson penalty kept the scoreboard ticking over for Sale, but the visitors made it 24-22 on 73 minutes through Joe Dancer’s unconverted try.

However, the hosts sealed victory with two minutes to go when Taylor went over, Wilkinson converting.


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