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Canterbury 12-57 Blackheath
Canterbury 12-57 Blackheath

The scoreline does not lie and the gulf between these two sides in this Kent derby was plain to see. 

Blackheath took the city club apart with a display of of pace, skill and organisation which brought them eight tries and confirmed them as unbeaten leaders of National 2 East.

Withplayers of the calibre of centre Jake Hennessey and wing Alex Harris they rarely let an opportunity go to waste. Between them the pair claimed five of Blackheath’s tries, Hennessey getting a hat trick and the elusive Harris grabbing a couple and making another for Freddie Owen.  

The real shocks to Canterbury’s system did not surface for half an hour despite the visitors dominating possession. A kick and chase try for Harris plus a penalty goal and conversion from Tom Ffitch had Canterbury eyeing a manageable first half. 

That optimism was then shattered in a devastating six minute window which saw Harris, Owen and Hennessey, with tremendous footwork, exploit the city club’s defensive frailties. 

Ffitch converted all three three tries, it was 31-0 at the break and the match had ebbed away from the home side. 

At the start of the second half and with the wind now in their favour, Canterbury raised faint hopes by making the first score. A yellow card for Blackheath’s Marcus Burcham brought a penalty and a catch and drive opportunity and Alex Evans got the touchdown.

That, however, was a minor blip for a side that revealed its class with another four tries. Canterbury’s best efforts were at the set pieces where the pack did a solid job but when ball was moved wide it was a different story. 

Clever off loading and support work, with players always available either side of their ball carriers, was in sharp contrast to a pedestrian and wilting Canterbury. 

Hennessey, twice, Steve Leonard and Jake Lloyd crowned all the good work and Ffitch slotted three conversions. 

An outplayed city club did make a defiant final statement through 80th minute catch and drive score by Jamie Stephens which Frank Reynolds converted.

Canterbury: R.Howard, G.Hilton. W.Waddington. T.Best, (rep F.Morgan),
M.Halliday, F.Reynolds, B.Cooper (repl W.Calder), B.Young (repl
A.Cooper),  N.Morris, D.Herriott (repl E.Lusher), D.Irvine (repl J.De
Vries),  J.Stephens,  C. Murray, A.Evans, T.Oliver.

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.