Glorious Griffiths blitzes the Blues
A superb display from Geoff Griffiths set up this emphatic victory for Blackheath in their final home game of 2016, while at the same time consigned a struggling Macclesfield to a fourth successive defeat and the bottom of National League One.
Despite an at times shaky set-piece, the Club full-back, along with his colleagues in the three-quarter line, opened up the opposition with such apparent ease in broken play, the last of their eight tries (and the second of Griffiths’ brace) came as the hosts had needlessly allowed themselves to be reduced to 13-men in the closing stages.
A Leo Fielding penalty opened the scoring in only the fifth minute but, moments later, Griffiths was making the first of a number of scything runs from deep, breaking into Blues territory following a free-kick, before finding Jamie Davies on his outside to glide across for the first try.
The visitors responded quickly as a period of pressure climaxed with loose-head Tom Mantell crashing over on the short-side of a maul, but Markus Burcham ripped possession close to the Blues’ twenty-two, and Fielding, whose performance on the right-wing came close to eclipsing his full-back in an electric first period, made the break to the goal-line before popping the ball inside for Mike Perks to cross.
Fielding became beneficiary on 25 minutes, as Griffiths produced a lovely off-load for a third try, and then the full-back needed no assistance as he created a blistering run from home territory, including a delightful side-step for the four-try bonus. Fielding added his fourth conversion in an immaculate display of place-kicking (and a 16-point haul) and Blackheath led 31-5 at the break.
The hosts lost some accuracy for most of the third quarter, but a scoreless 18 minutes ended as Burcham suddenly found space to send Jake Lloyd down the right touchline for try number five. Dave Allen, in the final appearance of his brief cameo, took possession of a Sam Eydmann box-kick after the re-start to release Mark Cooke to cross, and then a third try in a six minute spell arrived after play went through a number of phases, and Tom Baldwin headed to the left corner to bring up the half-century.
At last, Macclesfield found some territory, and with Fielding and Terry Read rapidly despatched to the sidelines (for not retreating and a binding infringement respectively), space was opened up for inside-centre Max Smith to cross for the Blues’ second score.
But, fittingly, the last word fell to Griffiths as, despite their depleted numbers, Blackheath once again stretched the visitors’ defence, and the full-back touched down in the corner to complete the rout.
The Club complete 2016 with away trips to Plymouth Albion and Esher prior to the Christmas break. They return to Well Hall in the New Year with the visit of Fylde on Saturday 7th January.
Tries: Davies, Perks, Fielding, Griffiths 2, Lloyd, Cooke, Baldwin
Conv: Fielding 4, Whatling 2
Tries: Mantell, Smith
15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Leo Fielding
13 Markus Burcham – Capt
12 Mark Cooke
11 Jamie Davies
10 Simon Whatling
9 Sam Eydmann
1 Aston Croall
2 Mike Perks
3 Terry Read
4 Freddie Owen
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Ryan Ward
7 Dave Allen
8 Tom Baldwin
16 Harry Fry
17 Kieron Scutt
18 Gregor Gillanders
19 Jake Lloyd
20 Tom Chapman