Canterbury squandered the chance of a memorable win at Clifton in National 2 South on Saturday, allowing a late 11-point lead to slip to a 37-36 defeat.
The city club did collect two bonus points but it should have been more, their forwards taking the opposition apart at set scrums, pounding their hosts with driving mauls and poaching important line-out ball.
Canterbury scored six tries thanks to the good work of the forwards with hooker Tom Rogers bagging two, Ben Massey Wim Baars and the fit-again Peter Kelly one each with an additional penalty try against a disintegrating Clifton scrum.
However there was some loose and unfocused play from Canterbury which was seized upon by the Clifton back-line. The hosts led 5-0 before Canterbury came back to move ahead 24-19 at half-time.
The Bristol side pressed hard in the opening 15 minutes of the second half but solid Canterbury defence limited them to a penalty before Baars barged over for a converted score to extend the lead.
Another penalty cut the lead to six but a catch and drive score from Kelly with 11 minutes to go made it 36-25 and put the visitors in a commanding position.
However with only the clock to beat, Canterbury failed to control the ball and lost concentration in defence, allowing Clifton wing Sam Smith to chase down a kick to score and just 60 seconds later add a second try after a missed tackle, with the conversion sealing a demoralising defeat for the city club, who stayed 10th.
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