For the second week running Blackheath will be grateful to their two props, Tom Williams and Danny Herriot, backed up by the boot of Joe Tarrant, for giving them a deserved win, but one that was far tighter than the final scoreline suggests.
The full-back kicked a total of five penalties (and one conversion), four of them created through the pressure of the Club scrum which had the Chinnor tight-five in turmoil throughout the contest.
‘It was definitely an area we knew would be tough and challenging, but we painted much better pictures than they did, and at the end of the day it probably was our scrum that won the match in difficult conditions,’ said Blackheath Head Coach James Shanahan.
‘Although we didn’t pick up the bonus point, which has lost us top spot for now, I was pleased to restrict Chinnor with our try at the end which denied another side who are firmly in the mix.’
However, Chinnor must take credit for making more of the limited opportunity that came their way, and it was the Oxfordshire side who popped up with the only try of the first period.
As the horizontal rain relented, Tarrant converted his first penalty, but almost straight from the re-start, scrum-half Greg Goodfellow put Craig Holland through a gap next to a ruck, the Chinnor fly-half cutting a fine angle to score in the left corner.
Goodfellow found an excellent touch-line conversion, but despite Blackheath turning over possession in attack on three occasions, and having to defend their own goal-line on the stroke of half-time after conceding their very first penalty of the contest on 40 minutes, two further Tarrant strikes ensured Blackheath led 9-7 at the interval.
Blackheath failed to make the most of a one-man advantage around half-time, but two more goals from the Club full-back, one from 45-metres, extended the advantage beyond a converted score after 57 minutes.
Unforced errors began to plague the visitors with three re-starts going dead, but in their only serious attack of the second period, open-side Will Bordill was driven over from line-out ball to bring the visitors back within point.
However, Chinnor conceded a total of fourteen penalties to Blackheath’s four during the course of the game, and as Mark Cooke found a beauty of a grubber-kick to touch, Blackheath found themselves back in the ascendancy.
The hosts probably didn’t want referee James Clarke to award a second yellow card which dispatched replacement prop Matt Beesley, and which meant scrums went uncontested, but it created the space for Jake Lloyd to barrel his was across the try-line out wide in the final play and ease the Kent side home.
‘The second half was really telling, playing into the wind and up the slope,’ said Chinnor hooker and coach Dan George.
‘We got into their twenty-two twice and came away with points but overall we just weren’t clinical when we held the ball.’
‘But I think it’s more missed opportunities first half when we had some pressure and then in the second period individual errors kept giving the ball back at crucial times.’
‘Fair play to Blackheath, they kept kicking the penalties and capitalising on our mistakes.’
Next Saturday Blackheath travel to Clifton Lane in Yorkshire, to take on Rotherham, before returning to make the short trip to league-leaders Old Elthamians at College Meadow. Both matches kick off at 2 pm.
Pens: Tarrant 5
Tries: Holland, Bordill
Conv: Goodfellow, Holland
|12||Markus Burcham (Capt)|