Saturday 19th January
Bandits by Michael ‘Chappers’ Chapman
Belsize Park (Development Side) v Blackheath Bandits Saturday 19th January 2019
Another win for Bandits against a very strong Belsize Park team
A few regular players out this week, which allowed other players to step up and be noticed and noticed they certainly were, led by our stand-in Captain of the day Ryan McSweeney
From the outset Bandits were put under pressure from a strong and lively Belsize team who were particularly sharp at the breakdown but our players are resilient and kept their discipline and shape.
Unfortunately, Connolly Mellon (Mel) dislocated his shoulder in the first 10 minutes of the game. Fortunately, on the way to the hospital his shoulder popped back into place, so all is well. He will seek professional advice when he gets home.
Thanks to some outstanding 1st half performances by the Bandits we managed to hold Belsize to 0-0 as the half time whistle blew.
Notable first half performance by Joseph Marshall (Joe) who made an extra-ordinary contribution, especially in defence.
The Bandits also appreciated a solid first half performance from John Walker who covered every blade of grass on the pitch. He also had to play for the Vets the very next day. WOW! What a soldier.
After half time we brought on a fresh back row in the form of Dan Yeomans, Fionn Byrne and Cameron Squire.
This undoubtedly contributed to our second half dominance, especially the impact that Cameron Squire (Cam) made. We are particularly pleased to see Cam back after a long time away from a shoulder injury.
We still needed to defend well as Belsize came at us time after time.
Lessons were learnt when we were pinned down in our own 22 and under pressure. Our little Spanish Toreador, Juan Perconis put in the tackle of the game and knocked their 6’ 3”, 2nd row player back 3 metres, which then allowed our team to win the turnover ball. WHAT A TACKLE!!
Benefits of fitness and training:
Once again it was evident to see the benefits of our training and the fitness levels throughout the team. Even the coach from Belsize commented to me on how relentless and Match Fit we were.
Like all great presentations:
A good start and solid middle and an outstanding end.
Chupa Chup awards went to:
- Skipper. Ryan McSweeney
- Juan Perconis
- Joseph Marshall
John Brady enjoyed his first game for Bandits and gave a solid first half performance
With our regular Skipper and Fly Half on leave Tomaso Simpkins stepped up to put on the number Ten shirt, which he managed very well. Thanks Tom
Fionn Byrne 2
Tomaso Simpkins 1
Juan Perconis 1
GENTLEMEN OF BANDITS
After the match the whole team went to the White Mustache pub to enjoy a couple of beers with the opposition. Later, the majority of the team were also seen back at the Blackheath Clubhouse, enjoying a few more beers! OUTSTANDING!
There was another good turnout at training this Wednesday, with 30 players competing for selection to play our next league game against Dartfordians.
Sunday 20th January
Womens 2nd XV by Steph Hutchinson
Sunday’s game saw Club travel to Harlow for the Junior Plate. With the weather unnaturally warm for January and more suited to summer 7s, it was sure to be a good game. With Club short on numbers we travelled with just 14 players and were met with a Harlow side of 20.
Club were first to score after a short period of hard hits from both sides. Habiba added the extra 2 points with a perfectly placed kick right between the posts. The points continued to increase for Club with the ball shipped out wide where Tash was able to slip through the defence to score. Habiba soon followed suit and not content with a conversion alone, claimed a try of her own after a succession of strong carries from the forwards.
However, a series of sloppy play from Club gave Harlow the opportunity to get 2 tries for themselves bringing the score to 17-10 with 5 minutes to half time. An unfortunate clear out at the ruck by Ellie left her on the receiving end of a yellow card alongside one of Harlow’s players. Club received the penalty and we restarted with a line-out on the half way line. Emili threw into Maria in a line-out so perfect even Marc was impressed! The backs made good use of the space and Tash raced down the wing to add another 5 points. Club led 22-10 heading into the break.
We restarted with Club playing into the setting sun, making for poor visibility. With fresh legs on the pitch, Harlow capitalised on Clubs fatigue and with space out wide put 2 tries past Club in quick succession. A collapsed maul resulting in minor injuries for both sides, as well as the Ref falling over and performing a comedy back flip, led to a brief pause in play. With the score at 22-20 and just 10 minutes remaining Club needed to hold onto the small lead. Our patience paid off and we were rewarded with a scrum 10m out. A few sneaky switches from the backs gave them just enough space to claim 1 more try before the final whistle.
Final Score Blackheath 27-20 Harlow
Forward of the match: Steph
Back of the match: Rachel C
This weekend the First IV have their final home game of the season against Hove KO 2pm at Rectory field.
U17’s. by Russell Ticehirst
The start of the Kent Colts Cup which is a new competition allowing a combined U17/18 side or either U17 or U18 only for many Clubs as too many in the County are unable field an U17’s Team, which is a hot topic across both Kent RFU and within the RFU itself.
So Blackheath were at home on the fabulous Pitch 1 at Well Hall v Bromley who are unbeaten this season as an U18’s Academy side. It was easy to see why, as in the early scrums Bromley had the physical edge and were set to dominate that part of play throughout the game.
However the Club 17’s are keen on defence and they applied early pressure with Bromley first piece of possession which led to a fantastic interception by winger Harvey Emery bringing the home support to their feet.
The rest of the half was tight and both teams had possession but I was Club continually breaking the line with some excellent rugby in midfield time and time again but Bromley cover defence was excellent and sadly none of these came to what could have been a crucial score.
Bromley then turned up the power and began to use their big men to make ground. It wasn’t for the purest but it was effective and eventually led to a scrum in Club 22 which in turn led to Bromley no8 and Captain going over to make the scores 7-7 at half time.
Sadly an injury, a sin bin and no reserves put the Club under too much pressure and the second half was not as the boys would have liked and Bromley scored three more tries to win the game quite comfortably in the end.
Club U17’s with a full side will no doubt be competitive the rest of this season as was proven yesterday and as with most Blackheath teams the team spirit, character and camaraderie post game were not diminished and the boys enjoyed time together in the Club house sharing stories from the day and several pizzas.
Come on Club!!
U15’s by Tim Brindle
The U15s hosted Sittingbourne on Sunday in a friendly as part of the preparation for the next stages of the Kent competitions for both the 1st and 2nd XV. The fixture was predominantly a 2nd XV one, with all the starting line up selected from that team, albeit a shortage of backs on the day necessitated a couple of forwards playing out of position.
Club started well, looking to play our style of game, but had to be on the ball in defence to counter Sittingbournes big and direct runners looking to punch holes through the middle. Solid defence around the fringes, with Monty leading the tackle count as he continues to relish his conversion to back row forward, and a couple of first rate try saving tackles by Joe at Full Back, kept Sittingbourne out, barring an unconverted try and a penalty. Club were able to counter this with two tries of their own, and a conversion.
Soon however Club were forced to make changes and Joe moved from Full Back to Fly Half sooner than had been intended. The only replacements available were 1st XV players, so to maintain a degree of competitiveness we played them out of position and Sam came on at Full Back. Then at half time when Nathan was forced to retire, Sam moved to scrum half.
The Club side were buoyant going into the break, knowing their amazing defence of the previous week was proving not to be a one off as they stepped up their intensity. The whole team had risen to the levels of the leadership shown by Josh and Joseph.
17-8 at Half Time.
Quite early in the second half Joe had to step out after a particularly big hit that was so well timed it was just fractionally not late, and continuing the theme of putting 1st XV players out of their comfort zone James, a back row forward, stepped into the half back berth.
The second half was fought much like the first, with Sittingbourne using their strength in terms of big and powerful direct runners, but when they did go wide they showed some great pace on the wings. It was Club however, who got scoring underway with a converted try, off of great running lines and deft passing. 24-8
Sittingbourne were not to be written off however as they exploited their pace on the wing to break through the curtain defence and then, after a couple of phases they scored out wide. 24 – 13. However it was Clubs defence that had the final say as it held firm to close out the rest of the half.
Final score Club 24 Sittingbourne 13.
Man of the Match was most certainly Monty for leading the tackle count with his perfect execution of text book chop tackles but also big shout outs to Joe at Full Back and Barnsey, normally a full back, for his shift in the back row!