|Blackheath – 1st Team||37|
|2nd Jan 16||3:00 pm|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Burcham brace douses Cinders
Inevitable that conditions would play their part in the pattern of this match.
Like much of the country, Gloucestershire had received a huge volume of rain prior to this contest (and more during!), evident from the water splashing underfoot during warm-up.
In fact, given the circumstances, the Dockham Road surface held up remarkably well, but the pitch was patently heavy and sapping, and a slimy ball had its impact on both sides when it came to mounting periods of sustained pressure.
Nevertheless, Blackheath successfully launched a couple of early drives from a good line-out platform to force two Freddie Gabbitass penalties, and a 6-0 lead, but the remainder of the first period scores came from unforced errors.
A charged-down kick, followed by a knock-on under a high ball, saw Cinderford gain their only points of the match as Nev Codlin (the left-wing who’s terrorised Blackheath on previous occasions) won the race to ground loose ball from a useful grubber. But the hosts were less sharp from the re-start as they dallied in their own twenty-two, seemingly unaware of the presence Markus Burcham and giving the Club captain the softest interception try he’ll ever experience for a 13-5 advantage to the visitors.
The remainder of the opening period would frustrate Blackheath whose forward ascendancy gave them the territorial dominance, but patience has been a feature of their game this term and the second half quickly saw them take the game away.
As Cinderford tired of the aerial contest after the re-start, and took ball into contact, Burcham stole possession and followed his own hoof along the right touch-line by turning over ball a second time for Chris Sewell to follow up and dive across in the corner. Then, as Blackheath kept the hammer down and built some phases close to the opposition goal-line, the outside-centre burst through the defences to collect his second score of the game.
The bonus point try came in the 63rd minute when Jake Lloyd took ball to half-way, Jack Walsh making a wonderful dummying break to open the defence, and Gregor Gillanders made the final pass to Tom Ellis to race across.
And as the mist descended on this dank January afternoon high up in the Forest of Dean, and with a couple of finely-aimed kicks to touch from Simon Whatling keeping the hosts pinned in their own half of the field, loose ball was picked up and off-loaded by none other than Burcham, for Tom Chapman to claim the final score, pouring further misery on struggling Cinderford and keeping Blackheath on the tails of Richmond at the head of National League One.
Next Saturday Blackheath host Henley at Rectory Field, kick-off is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Burcham 2, Sewell, Ellis, Chapman
Conv: Gabbitass 3
Pens: Gabbitass 2