A match, the pattern of which, very much dictated by the filthy conditions that swept across south-east England on this miserable afternoon.
For much of the contest Bishop’s Stortford held sway, while Blackheath’s discipline crumbled and, easing their way back from an early deficit, looked like they might make it a hat-trick of victories in only their third visit to Well Hall.
However, Blackheath stabilised their set-piece, which had wobbled in the middle of the game, and emerged worthy winners.
Blackheath couldn’t have asked for a better start either. A penalty for a scrum infringement saw Tom Baldwin take the throw from the touchline, and with backs joining the pack for the drive towards the goal-line, Jake Lloyd touched down for the first score.
Things immediately got worse for Stortford as, with a player in front of the re-start, a scrum followed by a free-kick saw ball moved quickly by Jack Daly and Mark Cooke for Leo Fielding to combine with Lloyd down the right flank, giving the right-wing his second try. Cooke added the second of two excellent conversions and the hosts led 14-0 with only five minutes played.
However, as the game settled down, Stortford began to play the elements better and with Blackheath conceding no less than eleven first half penalties (and two yellow cards), the visitors were back on level terms by the interval.
First, on 36 minutes, skipper and number-eight Baxter Wilson found space to touch down following a close-range scrum after ball was initially held up, and then, and despite being shunted back at another close-range scrum, Stortford set the ruck for second-row Tom Lewis to dive over and score.
Fly-half Brad Burr made use of the crossbar to strike his second conversion and bring the score to 14-14 at the interval.
The rain returned for the second period, hampering both teams further, and ensuring the game continued in its attritional, scrappy manner.
Burr attempted a long-range penalty on 52 minutes to break the deadlock, but it fell short and with Blackheath stepping up the intensity the more, it was Tom Baldwin’s try from a series of drives off lineout ball on the hour which proved decisive.
Next Saturday Blackheath travel to Cambridge for their next National League One fixture. Kick-off at Grantchester Road is at 2.00 pm.
Tries: Lloyd 2, Baldwin
Conv: Cooke 2
Tries: Wilson, Lewis
|12||.||Markus Burcham (Capt)|
Conv: Burr 2