Kent made history and became the first ​​county to win back-to-back championships when they held off a last-minute Yorkshire flurry to win the Bill Beaumont Division 1 final. 

After waiting 96 years for last year’s County Championship win, the county side clung on to win their second title in as many years in a nail-biting 31-30 finish. 

Kent’s Sam Evans opened the scoring with a penalty before Yorkshire’s winger Sam Taylor collected a cross-field kick from Eddie Crossland to score in the corner to make the score 3-5. 

Kent applied pressure to Yorkshire and camped out in their 22 before Evans added another penalty. 

Yorkshire’s Lewis Minikin and Evans traded penalties to make it 8-9 before quick hands from Yorkshire's Crossland to winger Pete Hudson-Kowalewicz then put Taylor in for his second. Minikin added the extras to make it 15-9 just before half-time. 

At the beginning of the second half, Crossland received a red card for a high tackle and Kent quickly capitalised on their one-man advantage. The forwards punched the team towards the line before winger Andrew Denham crossed from close range. Evans converted from the touchline to put Kent one point ahead. 

Yorkshire closed the gap to just one point before Kent saw out the game.Yorkshire closed the gap to just one point before Kent saw out the game. (Image: RFU)

A minute later, winger Gary Jones stepped two defenders before stretching to the try line. Evans converted and the score was 23-15. 

Yorkshire fought back and after multiple phases of play threatening the try line, replacement prop Loma Kivalu showed immense strength to drive over under the posts. Minikin converted to bring Yorkshire within a point. 

The teams traded penalties and the lead: a long-range effort by Minikin was responded to by a Sam Evans kick to keep Kent in the lead, 26-25. 

In the 64th minute, Ben Friers took a penalty quickly and ran into the 22 before passing to put Jones over in the corner for his second. 

A high tackle saw Kent’s replacement hooker Ryan Jackson receive a yellow card. Five minutes later, Leo Fielding joined him to give Yorkshire a one-man advantage for the first time in the game. 

Yorkshire closed the gap on Kent when Hudson-Kowalewicz broke down the wing to put Henry Macnab in the corner. Nerves settled in as Yorkshire went into the final two minutes a single point behind. 

Kent tried to see out the clock with their forwards before a heroic turnover gave Yorkshire a penalty to win with the last kick of the game. Minikin pulled it wide, and Kent became back-to-back county champions.      

Kent captain Rafael Dutta said: “Credit to Yorkshire – they absolutely stayed in the game. They fixed their game plan and put us to the sword right until the end.  

“We want to make sure that every time we play, we leave the shirt in a better place and that’s what we did today.” 

To see all the results from the County Championship Finals visit or follow @RFU on X to see all the in-play highlights.