Blackheath 28-17 Canterbury
Blackheath 28-17 Canterbury

No Christmas joy for Canterbury who lapsed into old bad habits and paid the penalty.  

They were punished clinically for their infringements by the Blackheath pack and although they enjoyed plenty of possession and territory in the second half too much damage had been done. 

Blackheath led by sixteen points at the interval, their three tries all the result of the city side’s lack of discipline.  

It cost them a penalty try in the ninth minute when they pulled down a driving maul and though they countered that with a catch and drive score from prop Billy Young, failed to learn from their mistakes,.

Frequent offences at ruck and maul played into Blackheath’s hands and they made the most of their opportunities.

Hooker Harry Fry was twice driven over from short range, the second time after Alex Thompson had been yellow carded, and Mark Cooke topped them up with the conversions.    

Late in the half Canterbury had chances to cut the deficit but, unlike the home forwards, lacked the efficiency to come away with points.

Yet another penalty conceded early in the second half invited Blackheath into their favourite attacking territory and they probed effectively before Tom Baldwin was driven over and Cooke converted.  

At that point, like the weather, things were looking pretty bleak for Canterbury but their spirit and effort is never in question and they lifted their game.  

A sharp line break by their best back, Tom Best, made a try for Dan Smart, which Best converted.  Then, nine minutes from the end, hopes were raised of  salvaging bonus points when Ricky Mackintosh finished off a smart attack.   

Blackheath, however, were too canny to conceded anything further and if the game lacked any real inspiration they would not be worried about that after a bonus point victory.

Canterbury: W.Waddington (repl D.Corcoran), R.Mackintosh, S.Sterling, T.Best, JJ Murray, C.Kingsman, D.Smart (repl K.Braithwaite), B.Young (repl S.Kenny), T.King, A.Wake-Smith, R.Cadman (repl M.Corker), A.Thompson, J.Stephens, J.Rouse, T.Oliver (repl S.Stapleton).

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.