BIRMINGHAM & Solihull Bees dropped to the foot of the table following their 31-17 home defeat to high-flying Canterbury.
A strong performance by a well-drilled Canterbury side orchestrated by fly half Ollie Best proved too strong for a Bees side who ended the game without the consolation of a losing bonus point to show for their endeavours.
Conditions were decidedly chilly at Portway but the visitors warmed to their task by playing the majority of the first period in the Bees’ half.
Some solid defence from the home side and an interception try for winger Matt Dight had restricted Canterbury to a 10-7 lead with two minutes of the first half to go. Canterbury’s points to date had come from a try by No 8 Jamie Stephens after 15 minutes, with a conversion and penalty from Best.
However, with the home side down to 14 men with Ashley Scriven in the sin-bin, a self-converted try for the industrious fly half on the stroke of half-time gave Canterbury a ten-point margin at the break.
It was Best who further extended his side’s lead to 24-7 ten minutes into the second period with the game at risk of slipping away from the Bees.
To their credit, Pete Glackin’s men dug in and gave their supporters a glimmer of hope of an unlikely come back with a try for veteran hooker Stewart Pearl, his second in a fortnight.
Canterbury soon hit back though with a catch and drive try for replacement prop Jarvis Otto, with centre Tom Best taking over the kicking duties from brother Ollie. The home side refused to lie down and Matt Dight got his second try of the afternoon with two minutes to go, to reduce the deficit to 31-17.
The Bees then showed some of the do-or-die spirit from the game at Guernsey in an attempt to get a fourth try, and with it one and possibly two losing bonus points, but it was not to be.
Bees make the trip to London Irish Wild Geese on Saturday.