RUGBY REPORT: Durham 23 Kent 31, Durham lose County Championship final at Twickenham,

TEAM: Durham
TEAM: Durham

DURHAM missed out on County Championship glory today when they lost the Billy Beaumont Division Two final at Twickenham.

Martin Pepper and Chris Hyndman’s team led 9-3 at one point through three Tom Hodgson penalties but the middle section of the game proved a bit of a disaster for them.

Kent transformed that deficit into a 31-9 lead before Durham finished with a flourish only to run out of time.

Tom Hodgson put Durham 3-0 up with his initial penalty after Durham’s first attack.

Kent stand-off Luke Giles equalised but back came Durham with two more penalties from the Darlington Mowden Park stand-off.

But Durham suffered a set-back when Kent centre Ben Hough ran in a try and Giles landed his second penalty to edge the South East side 11-9 up.

And it got worse when a further Durham error was punished by flanker Thomas Strudwick as the Kent captain put his team 16-9 up at the break with an unconverted try.

Durham needed a good start to the second period but it was Kent who struck next, Giles kicking his third penalty.

Kent then sealed the triumph with tries by Martin Beaumont and James Munton, one of which was converted by Tunbridge stand-off Giles.

Durham could have sank without trace but credit to the squad they came back with spirit.

Skipper Chris Wearmouth scored from a tap penalty and flanker Callum McKenzie also touched down.

Tom Hodgson converted both but Durham finished eight points short with Kent deserved winners.