Rugby union: Blackheath’s final tune-up ends in 21-54 loss to Canterbury


A competitive first period, followed by a somewhat lopsided second, in this final dress-rehearsal prior to the National League One 2023-24 season starting next Saturday.

Canterbury opened the scoring on three minutes with a move down the left flank, but as the Blackheath forwards began to make inroads, Archie Holland burst away to level for the hosts.

As the pressure built, the penalty count mounted against the visitors. Finley O’Sullivan crashed over for Blackheath only for Alfie Orris, the Canterbury wing so impressive during Kent’s successful County Championship campaign in May, to produce a brilliant finish after Blackheath lost possession at the restart.

Holland added his second try on half-time to give Blackheath a 21-12 advantage but, possibly wary of further injury prior to the Club’s opening National League One match at Taunton next week, James Shanahan used the interval to make an almost complete change of personnel.

With far more weight up front, Canterbury were able to dominate a rather disjointed looking Blackheath, running in six further tries, including a second for Orris, and claimed a big, morale-boosting win ahead of their first National League Two East game at Knole Paddock against Sevenoaks on Saturday.

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