|Blackheath – 1st Team||32|
|1st Oct 16||3:00 pm||National League One||2016|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Last November it was a try from Gregor Gillanders. Now, a little over ten months on, it was the boot of Leo Fielding that snatched victory with the very last play of a match where the lead had changed hands on six occasions, once again disappointing a Yorkshire crowd who had almost been easing the corks out of champagne bottles in celebration of a first league win against Blackheath.
Overall there is little to argue that it was a fair outcome, though had it not come about Blackheath would have had little complaint. The visitors dominated the second period, with only a converted Chris Knight try to show for it until Fielding, who moments earlier had suffered the ironic cheers from the home support as a penalty attempt went wide, produced a piece of ingenuity followed by an easier strike to silence Brantingham Park and stun the Hull Ionians faithful.
Perhaps it would never have come to that if Blackheath had been a little less careless in what turned out to be a crazy opening quarter.
Fielding immediately opened the scoring with his first penalty and then, following turnover ball in midfield, the full-back produced a neat grubber-kick for Tom Baldwin to collect and score for a 10-0 lead on just four minutes.
Ball lost forward in the maul allowed Ionians to demonstrate a significant shove at their first scrum, setting up the position for hooker Ali Thomson to be driven over for a try, but Blackheath were turning over possession with relative ease at this stage, and as Markus Burcham stayed on his feet through a couple of tackles, and Fielding produced a lovely one-handed off-load, Jack Walsh sent Mark Cooke over to restore the ten-point advantage.
However, it was soon eroded. Despite more than a suggestion of a knock-on in the tackle, outside-centre Steve Slingsby raced away to score as possession was surrendered on half-way, and on 20 minutes Sam Wilson made a beauty of a take of Isaac Green’s high ball, the right-wing spinning away from defenders for another breakaway try and a 21-17 lead.
Within moments, another turnover allowed Knight to thread his way through the Ionians defence to put the visitors briefly back in front, but a long-range penalty apiece from half-backs Green and Lee Millar, who also produced some fine kicks to touch, restored the lead for the hosts and left them 27-22 ahead at the break.
Against Coventry a week earlier, Blackheath had capitalised on second half territory to move the game quickly out of reach, but here on the banks of The Humber, Devin Montgomery was denied a 44th minute try, the second-row adjudged to have made a double movement in the process of scoring, and two attacking line-out chances were wasted.
On 52 minutes Knight hit a pass off line-out ball at pace to weave 50 metres and, with the conversion, re-establish the Club’s lead, but although Green missed a shot at goal from a rare excursion into opposition territory (the scrum-half’s only blemish), a fluffed five-metre scrummage saw Ionians clear up field and win the penalty from which Millar nudged the hosts ahead once more with only four minutes remaining.
As the ball wobbled off the kicking tee twice at the other end after a collapsed maul, and Fielding’s rushed kick fell wide, the maiden victory was in sight, but with time almost gone the Club’s full-back chipped the defence on half-way, juggled and regained possession, and although held just short under the uprights, forced the easy penalty that decided the contest.
Next Saturday Blackheath return to Well Hall for the visit of Blaydon. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Thomson, Slingsby, Wilson
Conv: Green 3
Pens: Green, Millar 2
Tries: Baldwin, Cooke, Knight 2
Conv: Fielding 3
Pens: Fielding 2
15 Leo Fielding
14 Geoff Griffiths
13 Markus Burcham – Capt
12 Mark Cooke
11 Chris Knight
10 Simon Whatling
9 Jack Walsh
1 Aston Croall
2 Dan George
3 Reece Conlon
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Freddie Owen
7 Chris Walker
8 Tom Baldwin
16 Harry Fry
17 Terry Read
18 Anders Nilsson
19 Tom Chapman
20 Jake Lloyd