Victories for the Women and U18s, and a Vets game where rugby really was the winner.
Blackheath 34-5 Hove.
With Blackheath 1XV sitting at top of the table unbeaten in the last six games, and Hove showing some dominance with their last 3 wins today’s game was always going to be a good one!
Well known for their strength up front Hove proved to be strong carriers with a dominant pack, that said, never one to shy away, Blackheath showed their dominance around the tackle area, hitting low and with Rebecca Carter proving why she earned forward of the match in the previous game, she intercepted a tip-on from Hove and began her dazzling sprint for the try line, nothing stops a prop on the run for a try and Nancy Lismore nicely added the extras, 7-0 club.
After a period of heavy dominance from Blackheath inside Hove’s 22, a switch of play round the corner looked to be the try rewarding Blackheath’s dominant carries, but an unfortunate knock-on meant we went back to the penalty kicked by Nancy Lismore to take the team 10-0 up.
With the game proving to be quite tightly matched and despite possession a strong Hove defence kept Blackheath out, it seemed a natural decision for Lismore to kick a further penalty, creating a larger buffer and taking the score to 13-0 Club at the half.
Hove started the second half strong and with a perfectly weighted kick-off and strong chase, retained possession, and worked through the phases to enter Blackheath’s 22. But their hard work was not to be rewarded and instead Blackheath made their way to towards the try line! Blackheath maintained their dominance and structure and it was evidently a good day for props after a period of gradually working towards the try line it was Leona Osbourne who crashed over the line, extras added by Nancy Lismore! 20-0 Club.
Shortly after, Hove played strong phases down the blindside and after a quick tap penalty was poorly defended, and solid carry from their number 8 crashed over outside, Club 20-5.
Determined not to allow Hove to put any more points on the board, wing Nicola McIntosh showed excellent strength to rip the ball and turn on the burners for a 40m sprint! Conversion hit (you might see a theme here) 27-5.
With moment to go Blackheath were still pushing for that bonus point and with a number of forward phases the gap opened up outside, quick hands from Sue Neumann and an entirely selfless pass from Nancy Lismore put Lyndsay Whitley over for the final try of the game. With her kicking boots firmly on fire, Nancy Lismore added the extras with a 100% record. Club finished 34-5.
Forward of the match went to Rachel Coates for her strength at second row, execution of throws when throwing in to the line out and all round solid performance.
Back of the match went to Ruby Hughes for being a terror around the pitch, excellent ability to read the game and strength of carries despite having noodles for arms.
Sponsor’s player went to Lyndsay Whitley, sponsored by Club President Alan Thompson.
After a difficult first season, the Blackheath Buccaneers, a re-invented veterans side, were looking forward to a first outing in the Spitfire Gold plate competition against Beccehamians. A squad had been pulled together and a bumper Sunday game was planned.
Except the front row were not looking forward to the game. At least 6 props had decided unavailability, with one prop due to arrive at half time (which turned out to be for the last five minutes).
No matter, as Beccehamians were prepared to loan some suitable big blokes, at the cost of 7 points under competition rules (more on that later).
Off we kicked, and in no time, the Buccaneers were 5 points to the good, with skipper Nik Dinning scoring in the corner. A reluctance to jog unchallenged under the posts meant the conversion was missed from out wide (see later). Beccs came back and were soon awarded a penalty. Which they kicked. In a Vets match! Once the Buccs had got over the shock, they drove upfield with scrum half Ben sneaking in for a try. This time we got the conversion to take a 12-3 lead.
As the penalty count racked up against the Club, for a number of surprising reasons, Beccs edged their way kick by kick back to 12-9 at the half and level shortly after.
Even the arrival of fresh (!?) legs at half time, in the form of U15s coach Andy Gowing, new recruit from Down Under Grant Johnson, the Club Ops Manager and ‘Nicks mate Al’, couldn’t drag the Buccs back into the game, especially with fly half Bene Medhurst casually crossing the line but declining to touch the ball down before being ushered into touch (see later).
An unnamed captain then managed to fumble a ball at full back before hurling a speculative pass inside, allowing a breakaway try for Beccs. Suddenly the Club were down and time was running out. A series of concerted drives upfield resulted in a late try for arch poacher John Walker. With the conversion missed, the scores were all tied at 17 all when the final whistle blew. A great effort from both teams and a worthy draw.
Then that loan of props, squandered conversion and avoided try came back to haunt us. A glorious draw converted in the annals to a narrow defeat.
Still, it was a fun game to play & reportedly to watch, and a lot of enjoyment was had by some men who should be old enough to know better. Great to have some new blood in the squad, from those creeping over 35 to some not so young (Grant).
As ever, the beer flowed happily in the bar afterwards as the game was dissected.
Next up is a trip to Bromley on 1 December. All welcome, whether to play, support or abuse.
Last Sunday the Club U18’s were hosted by Dartfordians in their 3rd Kent League fixture of the season.
Although convincing winners in their first two outings the boys knew that the match versus their local rivals would be a fierce contest and so it proved.
The home team started brightly not giving the visitors any opportunities at the breakdown and closing them down as they tried to move the ball in midfield and with their supporters cheering they turned just ahead at 7-6.
The second half gave Club the wind and the slope which for some reason they chose not to use at first and it cost them another seven points as a high ball was allowed to bounce onto the arms of the chasing winger who ran in unopposed under the posts.
This focused the minds of Blackheath and long clearance kicks turning the heavy home pack and pinning them into the 22 lead to several penalties and the score was pegged back to 14-9 and the boys knew exactly what to do!
The home side were not allowed out of their 22 for the last 20 minutes and eventually the pressure, superior fitness and cool heads told as the Club fly half found a gap and raced through to touch down under the posts, the conversion was good and Club took the lead 14-16. A last ditch fairly straightforward penalty for the home side failed to go through and Blackheath regained control and saw the match out to take the points and remain unbeaten so far this season.
This Sunday they host Canterbury at Well Hall.
Last Sunday saw the majority of our minis take the short trip to our neighbours at Sidcup for a very enjoyable and well run festival.
Weather was glorious (in comparison to the gloom and drizzle of the day before)
All age groups performed fantastically well. As we say, if we counted (which we don’t) we’d be significantly in the black in terms of tries scored.
A fantastic day. All who were there really enjoyed themselves. Sincere thanks to Sidcup for hosting.