Canterbury Rugby Club beaten at Southend in National 2 South after disappointing first-half display
Canterbury Rugby Club's Ricky Mackintosh
Canterbury suffered their third defeat in four National 2 South matches when they went down 34-27 at Southend on Saturday.
The visitors paid heavily for a poor first half which left them trailing 24-10.
Five penalties in the opening 12 minutes gifted Southend the territory and momentum they needed and they put it to excellent use as prop Todd Bailey, fly-half Chris Vaughan with an outrageous dummy, and wing Danny Cleare all crossed the line.
Martyn Beaumont and Ricky Mackintosh combined to give the latter a try and he added a second before the half was over, with Beaumont, Charlie Harding and Alex Veale involved in the move.
However more lax defence saw Bailey claim his second to give Southend a deserved bonus point. With conversions from Vaughan and Mark Billings they reached the break holding a 24-10 lead.
Canterbury improved significantly in the second half and five minutes in flanker Rob Lennox crossed for an unconverted try. Lennox was then yellow carded for handling in a ruck, which gave Southend the chance to fashion a try for No.8 James Kellard.
Renewed pressure and patience earned Beaumont his side's fourth try, converted by Tom Best and when a catch and drive score by impressive newcomer Brook Cowan five minutes from the end sliced Southend's lead to two points the result was suddenly wide open.
However, with the clock ticking down the home side then had the last minute word when Billings got his hand to an astute kick to the corner by scrum half Lee Sandberg.
- Click here for more Canterbury news
- Click here for more news from across the county