|Blackheath – 1st Team||26|
|28th Nov 15||2:00 pm||National League One||2015|
Blackheath – 1st Team
Gillanders seizes gap to sink Hull
A stop-start game played in raw conditions.
The bitter wind, coming straight off the Humber, was joined by steady rain from the interval onwards, and by the final whistle the gloom that increasingly shrouded Brantingham Park during the second period made visibility difficult for players and spectators alike, although for Blackheath and their travelling support a final outcome that warmed the heart and shone out through the darkness.
Hull Ionians won’t see it that way though! Trailing 19-15 with an hour played, their dominant scrum gave the visitors a torrid period, winning three penalties in successive set-pieces, and although a big tackle from Geoff Griffiths turned over possession, and stolen line-out ball from Gregor Gillanders scrambled the ball away, Hull returned via a soft penalty to drive Danny Paul across for the number-eight’s second try and the slenderest of leads with three minutes left on the clock.
However, this is a Blackheath side that refuses to lie down. Winning the put-in from the re-start, the Club ground their way to press the Ionians’ goal-line once again, probing the fringes, and as the hosts focussed on Simon Whatling, sitting in the pocket awaiting the pass for a potential drop-goal, Gillanders spotted an opening and strode through for the winning score.
Cruel for Ionians and their supporters who, having been celebrating moments earlier, now departed the main stand in dismayed silence. The Yorkshiremen had led for much of the contest, driving Paul across on ten minutes, and an early strike against the head served notice that the visitors might be under pressure at the scrum.
Nevertheless, as much as Ionians enjoyed superiority in that area, they had little answer to Blackheath’s line-out and driving maul which worked like a dream, with Scott Wright accurate as ever despite the conditions, and as hooker Ali Thompson became the first of two yellow cards for collapsing after Richard Windsor’s line-break took the visitors close, Dave Allen drove across for a try which, with Leo Fielding’s conversion, nudged the Kent side ahead.
Not for long though. A tap-penalty move close to the Club goal-line saw open-side Laurence Cowan, who’d already made a couple of strong runs, muscle his way across for a converted try, and Hull might have added a third had it not been for Griffiths’ tackle on Sam Wilson, the Ionians’ wing breaking into space down the left flank, but Blackheath returned to the hosts’ goal-line to drive Wright across for parity at the break.
Blackheath had the best of the opening skirmishes of the second period, driving 30-metres until the inevitable collapse saw Paul depart for ten minutes, recycling possession and pinching the odd line-out, but it came to nothing and it was a 57th minute penalty from Ionians’ scrum-half Isaac Green that next moved the scoreboard.
However, straight from the re-start Anders Nilsson made the break that put Blackheath back on the attack, and this time the pulled down maul resulted in the penalty try that gave the visitors the four-point advantage they took into the excitement of the closing moments.
Next Saturday Blackheath return to Rectory Field to take on Fylde. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Paul 2, Cowan
Tries: Allen, Wright, Penalty try, Gillanders
Conv: Fielding, Whatling 2
15 Leo Fielding
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Richard Windsor
11 Geoff Griffiths
10 Simon Whatling
9 Jack Walsh
1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Will Stuart
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Tom Baldwin
7 Dave Allen
8 Anders Nilsson
16 George Edgson (Baldwin)
17 Kieron Scutt (Stuart)
18 Devin Montgomery (Allen)
19 Sam Eydmann – not used
20 Mark Briant (Mvelase)