Blackheath nowhere near the races!
What a beautiful picture to welcome Blackheath in their first ever visit to Paton Field.
A warm spring afternoon lighting up the view across the Dee and towards the hills of north Wales, while some miles behind the pleasant wooden clubhouse that sits on top of the banking lies the other river that forms the Wirral, the Mersey, then Liverpool and Aintree where the Grand National would take place later in the afternoon.
Just a pity Blackheath couldn’t put on a thoroughbred performance to match the occasion. That honour would be left to Caldy, while the visitors, perhaps star struck from the visit of Jonny Wilkinson to Thursday night’s training session, barely limped out of the stables.
That said, Blackheath did, briefly, get a nose in front following the starting gun. As Caldy initially struggled with their body angles, Joe Tarrant converted the second of two scrum penalties, but three minutes later the hosts were ahead as, following untidy line-out ball, number-eight JJ Dickinson broke a tackle for the first try, converted by scrum-half Ben Jones.
A second Tarrant penalty nibbled away at the lead, but two opportunities for Blackheath were lost as ball went forward following Josh Davies’ quick tap, and line-out ball went awry, and with the visitors forced to take the ball back over their own goal-line, and Caldy’s scrum issues resolved, second-row Jack Collister touched-down from the ensuing five-metre put-in.
Ben Jones added a penalty and now, firmly into their stride, Caldy stretched out their lead further as wings Luke Hibbard and Nick Royle made breaks, and inside-centre Delwyn Jones bolted through a broken three-quarter line for a third try, the conversion and a further penalty giving the Cheshire side a 25-6 lead at the half-way mark.
Harry Bate may have been unfortunate not to have been awarded a try prior to the break, the Club open-side seemingly muscling over in the corner following line-out ball, but the going was to get even tougher for the visitors soon after the re-start as a mistake beneath the uprights handed Caldy an attacking platform for Royle to hurdle the defence by a perfectly executed nudge forward before picking up to score.
Some pressure at the other end at last produced a try as Tarrant crashed over on 53 minutes but as Blackheath tried to force the game from deep, another knock-on allowed Royle to gallop away for a further score.
Bate scored another for Blackheath on 65 minutes, but the final furlong belonged to Caldy, and Royle in particular, as a breakaway move saw the wing race away for his hat-trick to see the hosts across the finishing line and winners by a distance.
Club head coach James Shanahan will look for a marked improvement in form as Blackheath welcome local rivals Old Elthamian to Well Hall next Saturday in the penultimate fixture and final home game of the season.
Kick-off is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Dickinson, Collister, Jones (Delwyn), Royle 3
Conv: Jones (Ben) 3
Pens: Jones (Ben) 2
Tries: Tarrant, Bate
Pens: Tarrant 2
|13||Markus Burcham (Capt)|