|Blackheath – 1st Team||16|
|5th Sep 15||2:30 pm||National League One||2015|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Crows claw back as Club collapse
New director of rugby Colin Ridgway was less than happy after watching his side surrender a nine-point interval lead and succumb to defeat.
Even after 50 minutes of this contest, Blackheath maintained their advantage, but poor out-of-hand kicking, allied to a set-scrum that, having dominated the opening period thanks to some fine work at tight-head from Terry Read, fell away dramatically, and handed Blaydon an initiative they gratefully accepted to score 22-unanswered points in the second period.
Crows’ full-back Nathan Bailey fielded possession on half-way on 54 minutes to set up a try on debut for wing James Cooney, and a poor clearance after Andy Baggett’s penalty strike rebounded off the upright allowed Blaydon to attack from open play again, this time outside-centre Tom Small breaking the cover to score.
A successful Baggett penalty, added to the fly-half’s earlier conversions, pushed Blaydon clear, before the Durham club claimed the four-try bonus point late-on as number-eight Gavin Jones was driven across following a penalty for a scrum infringement.
Early on, however, it was Blackheath who held the ascendancy. Fielding no less than eleven debutants in their 20-man squad, six of them in their starting pack, the visitors held enough dominance for another man making his first appearance, fly-half Freddie Gabbitass, to kick them into a 6-0 lead on 13 minutes.
Always looking better with ball in hand, Blaydon’s first serious assault broke down with some poor handling after the final pass, but in the 23rd minute ruck ball on the Club goal-line saw scrum-half Rhodri Adamson cross from close-range.
Jack Walsh responded soon after with the Club’s only try of the match, as Geoff Griffiths broke forward and Tom Ellis and Devin Montgomery controlled ball close to the touch-line. And Gabbitass added a third penalty to put the visitors 16-7 ahead, but early second half pressure failed to yield further points and the final 30 minutes saw Blaydon in control and rarely troubled.
‘It wasn’t the performance we wanted,’ said Ridgway afterwards. ‘We were poor and there is no hiding from that. We have set ourselves high expectations and we collectively failed to deliver.’
‘However, the lads will respond positively. We’ve a big week ahead, building for Cinderford, our first home game in this league season, and we must do better.’
The match against Cinderford next Saturday will have the added attraction of seeing the Rugby World Cup trophy arrive at Rectory Field, as it continues its tour of the country in advance of the event itself which begins just six days later.
Kick-off for the game is 3.00 pm.
Tries: Adamson, Cooney, Small, Jones
Conv: Baggett 3
Pens: Gabbitass 3
15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Simon Whatling
11 Tom Chapman
10 Freddie Gabbitass
9 Jack Walsh
1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Terry Read
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Tom Baldwin
7 Tom Ellis
8 James Catt
16 James Clark (Wright)
17 Kieron Scutt (Croall)
18 Freddie Owen (Catt)
19 Tom Trotter (Walsh)
20 Mark Briant (Chapman)