Caldy 17 Blackheath 25

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A superb performance, and deserved victory, to topple the National League One leaders and keep Blackheath’s challenge at the head of the table firmly alive.

In a tight game, on this bright but chilly afternoon at the delightful Paton Field, each side matched the other with three tries apiece, but the visitors, led by the inspirational Markus Burcham, captaining his club for the 100th time (99 of them consecutive), kept their noses in front, bar a five minute spell early in the second period and, when required, mounted a staunch defence to see themselves to a fourth successive win.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

Indeed, Burcham had a fine match in the Club midfield and was heavily involved in the attack straight from the kick-off which demonstrated Blackheath’s intent and took the visitors close, only for Caldy to turn over ball at the first scrum.  However, as a strong break from Henry Staff resulted in the outside-centre being held up across the goal-line, the ensuing set-piece saw ball spun across field for Jake Lloyd to pop ball inside for Nick Foster to score the opening try.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

Elliot Clements-Hill added the conversion and a further three points as Caldy came up off-side, but a penalty at the other end saw the Cheshire side opt for a scrum from which tight-head Derek Salisbury drove across, reducing the hosts’ deficit to 10-7.

Great work again in the midfield by Burcham, allied to Neale Patrick making good yardage, enabled Mark Cooke to send Staff powering across in the left corner, despite a slight juggle with the ball, but Caldy responded again as phases of line-out ball opened up space for left-wing Luke Hibberd to cross, leaving the score 15-12 at the break in favour of the visitors.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

In fact Caldy had their best period of the match around the interval, and as a needless forward pass put Blackheath under pressure, the hosts again benefitted from the option of a scrum from a penalty, this time hooker Ted Stagg driving over for the score.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

With a two-point deficit, and Craig Dowsett in the sin-bin, Blackheath might have begun to flounder, but a Cooke penalty restored the lead before, on 54 minutes, the decisive moment came as Caldy allowed the ball to fall loose, and Foster pounced, the full-back sprinting 40-metres and under the uprights.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

Another Cooke penalty struck the post, and two attacking line-outs which might have enabled the visitors to move out of sight went wayward in the stiff breeze, but as Caldy sought the try which would have given them two league points, the Club’s defence held firm and ensured the Blackheath win.

Caldy v Blackheath at Caldy RFC on the 27th October 2018 London, United Kingdom

Next Saturday, Blackheath return to Well Hall to take on newly-promoted Sale FC.  Kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.00 pm.

Caldy

Tries:   Salisbury, Hibberd, Stagg

Conv:  Jones

Blackheath

Tries:   Foster 2, Staff

Conv:  Clements-Hill, Cooke

Pens:    Clements-Hill, Cooke

Blackheath Team

15 Nick Foster
14 Jake Lloyd
13 Henry Staff
12 Markus Burcham (Capt)
11 Elliot Clements-Hill
10 Mark Cooke
9 Stef Liebenberg
1 Tom Williams
2 Mike Perks
3 Danny Herriott
4 Neale Patrick
5 Josh Peters
6 Freddie Owen
7 Harry Bate
8 Anders Nilsson
16 Willie Priestley
17 Tom Concu
18 Ciaran Moore
19 Jack Daly
20 Craig Dowsett

Graham Cox

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