The 1st XV may have not been playing but it was a packed weekend for the rest of the Club
Bandits By Tim Brindle
The Bandits took on Old Dartfordians on Saturday in bright sunshine on a pitch in excellent condition at home. Club got off to a great start but, after the home side taking the foot off the pedal for a 20 minute spell following a strong first half when Club were 15-0 up, Darts fought back to take the lead 15-22. Bandits regathered themselves in the last 10 and the pressure eventually were able to score in the Corner with the last play of the game to make it 20-22. The difficult angle for the kick however meant that Captain Clarky couldn’t convert and unfortunately the Bandits lost only their 2nd game of the season (both losses have been to Old Dartfordians).
The next match is a crucial one at home against Beccahamians who are second in the league to the Club side. With only three games left of the season this is a must win game and we hope to play an early ko on Pitch 3 at Well Hall before the 1st XV match against Cinderford on the 9th
Women’s 1st XV By Jen Evans
The sun returned to Rectory Field on Sunday and so did rugby. In our first game of the championship cup, we found ourselves up against second placed Northern Championship side Lichfield, a team whose reputation precedes them.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, we took to the pitch in balmy 15 degree temperatures. And, for the first five minutes, it seemed as if it might be Lichfield’s day. A penalty early doors could have given them the first points but a seriously impressive catch under the post from first team debutante Rachel Parmeter meant they would have to wait a little longer. However, it was not long before they had their next opportunity and this time, there were no mistakes. A converted try gave Lichfield the early lead.
However, this Blackheath side soon had a spring its step and quickly responded with a try of our own. Good carries from inside centre Becky Watling and great work from the forwards soon saw flanker extraordinaire Janet Okolie secure Club’s first try, barely a minute after Lichfield’s score. Unfortunately, the try went unconverted. 5-7 to Lichfield. However, Blackheath were in the ascendancy and a number of try scoring opportunities for Lichfield came to nothing as Blackheath’s impressive defensive line speed kept them at bay.
Soon, the scoring opportunity was Blackheath’s. A well executed move from the backs left the Lichfield defence scrambled, and as many sides in the league will know, once fullback Elaine Jaxon gets into her stride, there’s no stopping her. Blackheath took the lead, 10-7. Lichfield did get a reward for their efforts with a penalty just before half time to take the score to 10 all.
The second half started well with Becky Watling’s strong carries rewarded with a try of her own which was promptly converted by captain Frankie Newby, 17-10 to Blackheath. Lichfield once again failed to capitalise on any of their try scoring opportunities in the second half but did get another shot at the posts at 60 minutes in, taking the score to 17-13 to Blackheath. Twenty minutes of hard rugby followed with Lichfield within one score of the victory. But Blackheath were too strong and too determined and held on to take the first victory of this year’s cup campaign.
This weekend the team make the long journey to Newcastle to face fourth placed Novocastrians, fresh from their defeat to Southern League champions Thurrock.
Forward of the match: Leona Osborne
Back of the match: Elaine Jaxon
Sponsor’s player of the match: Rachel Parmeter
U15s By Jon Saunders
Once the mist had cleared, in bright sunlight, Blackheath U15’s hosted London Irish U15’s at Rectory Field.
Ahead of the U15’s Kent Cup semi-final next week Club fielded a strong team for the first half. It was a dogged encounter: Again Blackheath were faced by a bigger, more powerful pack but this time our slick backs failed to click. Dropped passes were the order of the day from both sides and it became a ’stop/start’ game with Club spilling a number of chances, failing to build a substantial lead. The only score in the first half came when every pass stuck and our winger Sean, recently recovered from a broken collar bone, scooted into the corner. 5-0 Half time.
Blackheath made substantial changes in the second half. The entire 2nd XV pack came on together with almost a new back line: only the half back pairing staying on for another half. Irish made a few changes but the match continued in pretty much the same vein. Some inexperienced defending allowed Irish to score a try under the posts but then Club rallied: a sustained performance from the pack, some incisive running from the centres and Irish ill discipline which saw the penalty count go against them and ended up with 2 players being yellow carded, kept Blackheath in the game. The penalties allowed Club to regain the lead from the metronomic boot of Sam and with 10 mins to go, Blackheath had re-established their lead 14-12. Irish then mounted a fearsome assault on the Blackheath line: the dam broke and with only a couple of minutes remaining on the clock they scored under the posts and converted. Final score: 19-14 to London Irish.
Overall a good performance by Club: we will need to eliminate the handling errors if the 1st XV are to beat Aylesford on Sunday, but defence in the first half was excellent. The performance of the 2nd XV pack was outstanding in the second half and puts them in a good position ahead of their Development Cup final in April.
The Semi Final will played at Well Hall at 11am, against Aylesford, who were Kent Champions at U11’s,12s and 13’s and with Club being the U15s winners, it is sure to be a great match. All Supporters would be very welcome to cheer on the lads.
U14’s By Zak Vaesey
Blackheath – 22 v Sevenoak – 15 !!!!! Enough said? Almost…….
On a bright and sunny Sunday morning the Blackheath U14s had a tough away re-match against a formidable Sevenoaks team. Having lost a close game to them only two weeks ago in the quarter final of the Kent Cup the boys were keen for a little revenge. With a few last minute injuries, the squad size was smaller than anticipated, but the boys took to the field determined to put in a strong performance. A fiercely competitive first half saw the Blackheath boys take the lead with fullback, Max George running in a try from his own 22. Sevenoaks came back to level at 5-5, before, due to injuries, Blackheath were reduced to 14 players for the remainder and majority of the first half. Sevenoaks took full advantage of this to take a 10-5 lead in to half time. Back to full strength for the start of the second half, Blackheath upped their game, running in 3 further tries from Jack Hartland, Alfie Stuart and another by Max George, with a conversion by Isaac Chhabra. Sevenoaks kept fighting and replied with one further try for a final score of 22-15 to Blackheath. All of the Blackheath players deserve credit for a real team effort, with man of the match awarded to Ollie Gibbons.
U13’s By Nick Stone
On what was a glorious and sunny day the U13s entertained Old Colfeians at Well Hall. We played the fixture over 4 quarters of 20 minutes alternating As and Bs.
A constant theme across the game was a dominant scrum, great rucking and carrying, including some great lines from the centres, and moving the ball through the hands.
In what were very competitive games, with the players from both sides contributing greatly the end result was a cumulative 65-25 win with the As winning 25-15 and the Bs winning 40-10.
There were some really good tries scored by both sides but worth mentioning that 9 of our 13 tries were scored by the wingers including Dylan Reynolds, one of our A team 2nd rowers, who played for the Bs at right wing in one quarter!
We then enjoyed hot-dogs in the sun.
Tries were scored Edward (3), Ruben (2), Sam (2), Sahib, Dylan, Dom, Ollie T, Teddy and Billy.
U9’s By Andy Burrows
Blackheath U9’s also sent 2 teams to the Cobham festival and returned victorious with a trophy presented for RESPECT.
Great festival organised by really friendly people. U9’s played 10 games. Of which they drew 1 and lost 2, but as we don’t keep score can’t say how many we actually won!!!!!!!!!!! (7)!!
Pretty good going and congratulations to all involved.
U7s By David Simpson
On a marvellously sunny Sunday morning Blackheath’s U7’s minis took two teams to play a festival at Cobham RFC.
Playing 5 minutes each way our teams played 5 matches each against the likes of Cobham, Chobham, Reeds, Old Cranleighians, Effingham and Leatherhead, Haywards Heath (who’s colours were very similar to our and rather than Club on their socks they had Heath!), Esher, Wimbledon etc.
Once our guys got to grips with the small pitches that had been set out, and decided to run through the opposition rather than run around them, they played some beautiful tag rugby constantly supporting each other when attacking, and tagging as if their lives depended on it in defence. Great teamwork throughout.
As always our boys played to the RFU values, always with a smile on their faces, respecting the opposition, the referees and coaches from both sides – just generally enjoying themselves.
It did not go unnoticed by Cobham and our boys won a trophy for upholding these values.
And to make everything a little sweeter, AJ won the raffle on the day!
A great and enjoyable festival had by all.