Canterbury’s National 2 South campaign ended on a low note with a 31-12 home defeat to relegation battlers Bournemouth at Merton Lane on Saturday.
Already destined to finish eighth, the hosts were plagued by errors in the opening half which allowed the visitors to lead by nine at half-time and two further tries in the second half confirmed the points, while Canterbury were unable to add to their tally.
To add to their disappointing afternoon, city club scrum-half Dave Marshall suffered a serious shoulder injury after coming off the bench and his season ended in hospital.
The visitors exposed a lack of blind-side defence to pave the way for the opening try, which came from wing Dan Connolly, converted by Dan Pollard.
The city club rallied with two tries in six minutes, with Wim Baars adding his 16th and 17th tries of the season, with Tom Best adding the extras to one for a 12-7 lead.
However, an error from a defensive scrum allowed flanker Gavin Hart the chance to go over for a converted score and a minute before half-time, Canterbury lost a lineout on their own throw allowing George Drake to go over, with another Pollard conversion making it 21-12.
The hosts launched several attacks after the break, playing with the wind but despite losing a man to the sin-bin, Bournemouth defended superbly and eventually turned the game, with Juan Del Val getting a yellow for the hosts.
Tommy Booth earned a bonus point for the away side’s fourth try while late-on, a pass was intercepted to add gloss to the scoreline.
Bournemouth have two games remaining and need to win one more to guarantee their survival.