A thoroughly disappointing afternoon for Blackheath who allowed this game to slip away despite clawing their way ahead on two occasions.
In the pleasant surroundings of Dillingham Park, on this lovely sunny, dry autumnal afternoon, Blackheath would have aimed to move the ball wide and exploit the pace in their backline, but lacked the cutting edge when it mattered, while at the other end, Ampthill managed to stretch the Club’s defence to far greater effect.
That was aptly demonstrated in the opening quarter of an hour, as the Bedfordshire side raced into a 14-3 lead.
Quickly into the attack after Blackheath lost possession, line-out ball moved back out wide to where left-wing Sam Baker had simple run in, and although Elliot Clements-Hill responded with a penalty for crossing straight from the re-start, Amps’ full-back Will Foster weaved a line through the midfield for a second converted score.
Nevertheless, having already secured a penalty from the first scrum of the contest, the Club pack now drove off line-out ball for Danny Herriott to crash over on 24 minutes, and as Blackheath enjoyed their best period of the game, Craig Dowsett was held just short on left flank, before Tom Williams powered across to finish the move.
Had Blackheath firmly punished Ampthill’s indiscipline, which saw the hosts concede nine first period penalties, the Club’s lead at the break could have been a significant one, but instead it stood at a slim 17-14, and one which was meekly surrendered as Amps’ open-side Joe Bercis rampaged through the midfield for second-row Carl Burgess to cross under the uprights within a minute of the re-start.
Clements-Hill crossed in space out wide on 53 minutes after Blackheath had gone through the phases, giving the visitors the edge once more with a slender 22-21 advantage, but again the Club’s concentration deserted them at a re-start as scrum-half Kevin Barrett’s neat chip in front of the uprights was collected by Bercis to score, and this time there was no coming back.
A tap-penalty opportunity at close-range was thwarted, as Ampthill’s defence turned over possession (and would do so again in the closing moments to deny the Club consolation), while one final assault saw the hosts drive hooker Aleki Lutui across from line-out ball on 72 minutes to make the game safe.
Blackheath will look for improvement next Saturday, as they host south London rivals Rosslyn Park. Kick off at Well Hall is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Baker, Foster, Burgess, Bercis, Lutui
Conv: Waters 4
Tries: Herriott, Williams, Clements-Hill
Conv: Clements-Hill 2
|12||Markus Burcham (Capt)|