Blackheath 12 Fylde 32

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Club fold as Fylde fly up to fourth

The final National League one weekend of the season and something of an end of term feel to a game that contained some inspiring passages of play, but was too disjointed to set a warm spring afternoon ablaze.

Not that Fylde would have minded as they headed back to the Lancashire coast with all five points and fourth position in the table in the bag, thanks to a second half performance which, after level pegging at the break, took the game away.

Blackheath gave themselves the right kind of start. On ten minutes, as Tom Bason rose to make one of his final line-out takes in Club colours Dave Allen, who had fittingly recovered from injury to join his long-standing captain in his final competitive game of rugby, drove across for his 13th try of the season.

Fylde, however, looked to inject pace at every opportunity, and a move which started with scrum ball on their own goal-line, and continued with a tap and go penalty in Club territory, ended with full-back Warren Spragg crossing under the uprights, before tight-head Adam Lewis piled across in the left corner from one of many powerful drives from the Lancastrian eight, giving the visitors a 12-5 lead on the half-hour.

Two kickable penalties were spurned by the hosts, so it was with some relief that Ollie Lyons stretched out for Blackheath’s second try, bringing the scores level but, after the break, two penalties from fly-half Chris Johnson re-took the lead for Fylde as their forward dominance took hold.

How Blackheath could have done with the robust and selfless tackling of Richard Pike to stop Fylde in their tracks and help the Club grind their way back up field. Unfortunately however, the blind-side, veteran of 127 First XV appearances (the last of which was against Esher in February when he was forced off with a knee injury) and who along with Bason also announced his retirement on this day, could only watch from the stand as the visitors continued to mount pressure in opposition territory.

Scott Rawlings was held up over the goal-line, Johnson’s pass to wing Ryan De La Harpe was ruled forward, and a crossfield kick failed to find its mark, all denying the Lancastrians, but on 70 minutes the crucial try arrived, courtesy of Scott Rawlings, as the inside-centre barrelled over off line-out ball.

With the lead beyond a converted score Blackheath responded, but as their attack broke down, Fylde left-wing Ollie Brennand sprinted 80 metres adding the bonus point as well as his 26th try of the campaign.

Blackheath

Tries: Allen, Lyons
Conv: Gallagher

Fylde

Tries: Spragg, Lewis, Rawlings (Scott), Brennand
Conv: Johnson 3
Pens: Johnson 2

We now have a Blackheath Channel on Grandstand where you can to watch the highlights of this match – click here to find out more.

Graham Cox

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