|Blackheath – 1st Team||34|
|21st Nov 15||3:00 pm||National League One||2015|
|108 Charlton Road, London SE7 7EY, UK|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Club clout ailing Albion
It’s almost one and a half decades since Graham Dawe last brought a Plymouth Albion side to Rectory Field.
On that occasion, in February 2001, Blackheath were hanging on to a 13-12 advantage in the closing stages, when ever-present Albion scrum-half Nigel Cane scored the winning try, keeping the Devon side on course for the one hundred percent league record that term which secured the first of successive promotions to domestic rugby’s second tier.
Unfortunately for Dawe and Plymouth the second visit in fifteen years was not to prove so fruitful, as Blackheath bounced back from a first defeat in nine outings the previous week to record a ninth win of the campaign, as well as a four-try bonus point for the first time since mid-September, while Albion slip to a sixth defeat, leaving them firmly in the middle of the National League One table.
With Terry Read restored at tight-head, Tom Stradwick magnificent in the loose and Simon Whatling orchestrating at fly-half, the Club came out of the blocks with a pace and intensity that tested the Plymouth defence from the outset, and although the middle part of the game turned into an aerial battle, as both sides looked to force errors with the help of a strong and bitterly cold wind, the hosts returned to take the game far out of the reach of the visitors.
Leo Fielding, starting his second full game at full-back, opened the scoring in the tenth minute as the Albion defence, which held firm early on, conceded its first kickable penalty for not rolling away, and although the visitors made a brief excursion into opposition territory, a stolen line-out spoilt their progress.
Blackheath’s line-out, on the other hand, proved exemplary with Scott Wright hitting his jumpers with relentless consistency, setting the platform for a series of drives, and on 16 minutes, with Dave Allen peeling away and making yardage, Richard Windsor, playing at inside-centre, found a gap to race through for the opening try, Fielding adding the conversion.
Allen himself was driven across five minutes later from a close-range throw, and although Albion fly-half Billy Searle quickly responded with a penalty, Blackheath held the upper hand with a 15-3 advantage at the break.
Had a knock-on not denied number-eight Herbie Stupple a try just prior to the interval, Plymouth might have brought themselves with range, but the bounce of the ball was not in their favour on this day and two tries in three minutes soon after the re-start put the game out of the Devon side’s reach.
As Fielding’s 52nd minute penalty struck the upright, Aston Croall regathered possession for the hosts, and with Read piercing the defence, Tom Baldwin crashed over the goal-line. Then, as Whatling found a superb kick to touch, the excellent Baldwin stretched to collect the throw, and a neat move saw Tom Chapman find space out on the right flank to cross in the corner.
To their immense credit Plymouth continued to press and there were some outstanding performances, notably Nile Dacres at blind-side, but the visitors lacked the accuracy to press home their attacks and the final word went to the hosts as, late in the contest, Allen drove across for the open-side’s second of the match and his ninth of the season.
Next Saturday Blackheath travel to Brantingham Park to take on Hull Ionians before returning to Rectory Field on 5th December to entertain Fylde.
Tries: Windsor, Allen 2, Baldwin, Chapman
Conv: Fielding 3
15 Leo Fielding
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Richard Windsor
11 Tom Chapman
10 Simon Whatling
9 Jack Walsh
1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Terry Read
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Tom Baldwin
7 Dave Allen
8 Anders Nilsson
16 Ted Lang (Wright)
17 Kieron Scutt (Read)
18 Chris Sewell (Baldwin)
19 Jake Lloyd (Mvelase)
20 Mark Briant (Windsor)