|Blackheath – 1st Team||13|
|5th Nov 16||3:00 pm||National League One||2016|
|25 Kidbrooke Lane, London SE9 6TE, UK|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Club hang on to foil Old Boys
Not the best of afternoons for two sides who like to move the ball and play an expansive game, particularly in a scoreless second period that, as time went on, slowly sank into the abyss.
Sank, that is, until the dying moments when, from turnover ball, Albanian launched a counter move that, with their exceptional full-back Ben Palmer injecting the pace, required desperate tackling from Jamie Davies and Mark Cooke to dislodge the ball and deny the visitors the try that might have handed them the match.
They won the next put-in too, as Blackheath were forced to take play over their own goal-line but, typical of the game, ball was spilt forward and the hosts were saved – just!
‘To come to Blackheath, get so close and just miss out is devastating,’ said OA player coach James Shanahan. ‘The boys demonstrated a lot of pride and with as many as 19 players out injured at the moment I can’t fault them.’
‘Credit to Blackheath though, they worked hard defensively and edged us out.’
Nevertheless, for the most part it was a scrappy, error-strewn game that will not live long in the memory.
The visitors took the lead in the eleventh minute when, having dominated the opening phases, Blackheath lost possession going forward. James Spiers broke into Club territory and, following a quick-tap penalty, the OA right-wing crashed down under the uprights to finish the move he’d started.
The hosts levelled the score soon after as, despite slow ball following a line-out, play was moved across field and Markus Burcham’s long pass found Davies in acres of space to cross out wide, and with Simon Whatling adding two penalties to his conversion, Blackheath held a deserved six point advantage at the break.
But despite holding edge at both scrum and line-out, Blackheath failed to make any inroads in the second period, with OA having the majority of possession and territory, and it was left to a defence led by the energetic and tenacious Chris Walker at open-side to hold the visitors at bay.
‘We didn’t play well and were off the pace,’ said Club director of rugby Colin Ridgway. ‘We showed some good character to hold on and see the game out, but we’ve got plenty to work on.’
Pens: Whatling 2
15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Jamie Davies
13 Markus Burcham – Capt
12 Mark Cooke
11 Tom Chapman
10 Simon Whatling
9 Sam Eydmann
1 Aston Croall
2 Dan George
3 Kieron Scutt
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Freddie Owen
7 Chris Walker
8 Tom Baldwin
16 Harry Fry
17 Terry Read
18 Mike Perks
19 Jake Lloyd
20 Alex Pickersgill