Battling Blackheath denied a breach in the Mowden stronghold
Photos courtesy of Mark Fletcher
So often a match can turn on a single moment.
On the hour mark of this closely fought contest, Club full-back Leo Fielding made a last-ditch tackle which, with a man available outside, denied Mowden Park an almost certain try.
However, referee Matt Turvey deemed the tackle dangerous and, with Blackheath temporally depleted in number, the hosts, who had looked throughout to put width on the game, fully exploited the extra space to score the two tries that extended a two point advantage to fourteen.
Fly-half Warren Seals went over for a converted score on 63 minutes from line-out ball midway inside the Blackheath half of the field, followed soon after by Callum MacKenzie, the left-wing crossing for his second try and Mowden’s fourth, after the visitors simply ran out of tacklers after another throw from the touch-line.
It was a pity for Blackheath who had done so well to fight back from an early deficit against the side lying second in National League One and who remain unbeaten at their Northern Echo Arena fortress in their eleven home games to date.
Mowden centre Garry Law struck a fine conversion from out wide, to add to an early penalty after right-wing Adam Radwan had broken tackles down the right touch-line, giving the hosts a 10-0 advantage on twelve minutes, but Joe Tarrant put Jake Lloyd through the midfield to cut the deficit to five points at the end of the first quarter.
Law’s second penalty extended the hosts’ lead once again, but with Hayden King and Danny Herriott giving Mowden a torrid time at the scrum, a five-metre set-piece prior to the interval saw Tom Stradwick drive over at close-range to bring the visitors to within a single point at the break.
Mowden’s decision to opt for line-ball instead of an easy three points after the re-start was fully vindicated as MacKenzie squeezed over next to the left corner flag, moving the north-easterners to a 18-12 lead, but as Freddie Owen was adjudged held up across the goal-line, the Club’s still solid scrum set the platform for Lloyd to crash over for his second try, Tarrant’s conversion nudging Blackheath ahead for the first and only time.
However, Law’s third penalty, as Blackheath were penalised for going off-side in front of the kicker, restored the lead for the hosts, and although Owen was unlucky a second time when ruled not to have touched down after the open-side hacked on following a fumble in the Mowden defence, the two-try burst put the hosts clear with only eleven minutes remaining.
Still, a further try would have given some reward, and for the final minutes Blackheath threw everything at the Mowden goal-line (and were held up again) but to no avail.
Next Saturday Blackheath return to Well Hall for the visit of Esher. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm
Darlington Mowden Park
Tries: Radwan, MacKenzie 2, Seals
Conv: Law 2
Pens: Law 3
Tries: Lloyd 2, Stradwick
Cons: Tarrant 2
|13||Markus Burcham (Capt)|