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Dorking 42 Canterbury 22: National League 2 East match report

By David Haigh

Canterbury had no answer to Dorking’s superior sharpness and accuracy in a 42-22 National League 2 East defeat.

In the lead-up to this game Canterbury head coach Matt Corker challenged his squad to show they were capable of matching the top clubs in the division, but at third-placed Dorking they failed to make their case and conceded seven tries.

Canterbury’s Tom Williams does battle on Saturday. Picture: Phillipa Hilton
Canterbury’s Tom Williams does battle on Saturday. Picture: Phillipa Hilton

That try count was bettered only by eight yellow cards dished out by an official who was a stickler for the letter of the law, but the flow of the game often suffered in consequence and it was Canterbury who paid the greater price on the scoreboard.

After a bright start and a Frank Reynolds penalty goal, tries from Fraser Mosley and Jonny Ellis, and a Henry Anscombe conversion, gave Dorking the lead. A burst by Alex Evans and a corner-flag try for Cameron Murray pegged them back, but then came yellow cards in quick succession for Canterbury’s Jamie Stephens and Shay Kerry.

The home side cashed in on penalties and superior numbers with tries from wing Will Sanders and lock Jasper King. Before half-time it was Dorking's turn to see yellow, but any Canterbury chances were squandered as they were turned over in good positions.

Alex Evans in the thick of the action for Canterbury. Picture: Phillipa Hilton
Alex Evans in the thick of the action for Canterbury. Picture: Phillipa Hilton

The march to the sin-bin soon got under way in the second half and with Tyler Oliver and Alfie Orris doing time, Dorking began to pull away.

Their back division, crisp and certain in using possession provided by a mobile pack, did the damage with tries for scrum-half George Jackson and centre Tom Howe before the final quarter.

By comparison, Canterbury's efforts to spread the attack looked clunky and in the 67th minute Dorking No.8 Finn Osborne crowned an impressive display with his side's seventh try. The hosts were handed the last two of those annoying yellow cards and the visitors were able to register late face-saving scores through a penalty try and an overlap opportunity taken by Nathan Morris, converted beautifully by Reynolds.

An Anscombe penalty goal completed Dorking's points haul but had he produced a better day with the boot the victory would have been even more emphatic.

Seventh-placed Canterbury host Barnes, in second, on Saturday (3pm).

Canterbury: Waddington, Jones, Morgan, Best, Orris (Law), Reynolds, Williams (Cooper), Lusher, O'Donoghue (Morris), Herriott (Huntley), Kerry, Stephens, Evans (Mackenzie), Murray, Oliver

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