Kent retained the Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 1 title after clinching a narrow 31-30 victory over Yorkshire at Twickenham. (Photo Credit: Phillipa Hilton)

The holders – stacked full of National League Rugby stars from National One and National Two East – were 15-9 behind at half-time following two scores from winger Sam Taylor but a red card shown to Yorkshire fly-half Eddie Crossland for a shot to the head allowed Kent to tip the game in their favour.

Andrew Denham of Blackheath dotted down from close range before Canterbury’s Garry Jones showed some nice footwork to go over.

Yorkshire – who were playing in their first Division 1 final for 16 years – fought back as Rotherham’s Loma Kivalu carried strongly to power over and with Sam Evans and Lewis Minikin swapping penalties, Kent held a 26-25 advantage.

That lead was extended when some quick thinking from Westcombe Park’s Ben Fryatt set Jones on his way for his second but yellow cards to Ryan Jackson and Leo Fielding allowed Yorkshire to reduce the deficit as Hull’s Peter Hudson-Kowalewicz put Henry Macnab in for a score on 76 minutes.

And Dan Scarbrough’s troops had an opportunity to snatch the win at the death but Minikin pulled his late penalty attempt wide.

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