|Blackheath – 1st Team||39|
|13th Feb 16||3:00 pm||National League One||2015|
|108 Charlton Road, London SE7 7EY, UK|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Club win test against Students to get back on course
For a while this contest looked like following last week’s match in the Yorkshire Dales for Blackheath who, after making a decent start, found an early lead being slowly erased by another side looking to edge themselves away from the bottom of the table.
In the end, however, the Club’s superior set-piece came to the fore, giving the hosts the possession and territory required to ease to a comfortable win.
‘We came up against a well-organised defence with good line-speed, which caused us to make errors and mess up a couple of chances,’ said Blackheath director of rugby Colin Ridgway.
‘But we talked about it at half-time and in the second period our ball control was much improved, letting us force our way up the middle and then attack from out wide.’
‘It’s just the result we needed with a run of three big games to come.’
Silly errors from both sides led to a quick exchange of penalties, but the first of Blackheath’s five tries arrived in the eighth minute, as Gregor Gillanders stretched to take line-out ball and Geoff Griffiths, with Jake Lloyd still outside him, rounded off a lovely cross field move.
Freddie Gabbitass added a second penalty for an 11-3 lead on 15 minutes. But as well as thwarting the hosts with a well-drilled defence, the Students possess some fine handling skills, with inside-centre George Eastwell showing some excellent touches, and as every kick from defence was caught clean and returned with interest, two further strikes from Tom James, including one from 45-metres, kept the the visitors in touch at 11-9 at the break.
However, it was the second period during which Blackheath took full control.
An early break down the right-wing from Lloyd, who shrugged off a number of tackles during the course of the afternoon, led to Loughborough being caught off-side, and as Devin Montgomery collected Scott Wright’s throw at the resultant five-metre line-out, Kieron Scutt drove across in the 45th minute.
More good handling from the Students produced a long phase of play, and James’ fourth penalty, but with Dominic Regan making his debut off the bench sparking a reshuffling of the Club back division, the hosts were soon back on the attack.
A five-metre scrum on the hour saw Ben Cooper and George Edgson quickly thrown into the fray, their fresh legs powering the Club pack over the goal-line for referee James Sullivan, who was a joy to watch with his clear and decisive officiating, to award Tom Baldwin the touch down at the base.
Five minutes later, an arcing run from Griffiths took play to the corner, before Baldwin drove on, and Gabbitass found a great pick up out wide to cross for the bonus point try, his first in Blackheath colours, and adding to the 14 points he collected from the kicking tee on a cold wet and windy afternoon which made life difficult for both sides’ place-kickers.
And although Loughborough found some territory late on, this time it was the Club’s defence who held firm, and as the hosts broke away again through Lloyd, and set up another five-metre set-scrum, Sam Eydmann touched down for the final try.
Tries: Griffiths, Scutt, Baldwin, Gabbitass, Eydmann
Conv: Gabbitass 4
Pens: Gabbitass 2
Pens: James 4