Photos courtesy of Chris Farrow
Club hold firm against feisty Fylde
Not the most serene of performances, but a welcome victory before National League One takes a week’s break.
Amongst the pleasant surroundings of the Woodlands Memorial Ground, Blackheath led from the ninth minute, but were never allowed to settle by a Fylde side who, although currently sitting at the foot of the table, kept pecking back at the advantage and whose 69th minute try from right-wing Tom Carleton kept the Club working hard right up to the final whistle.
‘I’m happy with the win, although disappointed in the manner of the result, but after two poor performances it was good to get the five points away from home against a spirited Fylde,’ said Blackheath Head Coach James Shanahan.
‘But we need to improve and work hard to stop making the same mistakes, otherwise this is going to be a long season. That said, this break coming after eleven games is a bit of a godsend. A chance to mend some tired and broken bodies.’
It was a good opening quarter from Blackheath. With their set-piece firmly in control the Club dominated territory, and as Fylde infringements brought the visitors close to the opposition goal-line, Tom Baldwin grounded the ball for the first try.
However, as Blackheath themselves were caught off-side in front of their posts during Fylde’s first serious assault on 20 minutes, the Lancastrians bravely opted for the line-out, and as ball moved across field, left-wing Tom Grimes crossed out wide, reducing the deficit to two points.
Joe Tarrant slipped across from a close-range scrum after Fylde number-eight Dave Fairbrother was sin-binned for killing the ball on his goal-line, the Club fly-half’s second successful conversion bringing up his 100th point of the season, but as the period drew to a close, Blackheath’s discipline deserted them again and hooker Tom Burtonwood drove over to bring the gap back to 14-12 at the break.
Blackheath again held the territorial advantage after the interval, and as Freddie Owen broke forward in the 45th minute, and Josh Davies and Baldwin made further dents in the Fylde defence, Harry Bate crossed out wide. Twice the ball was held up over the goal-line to provide the visitors with the five-metre put-in and on the second occasion Tarrant again found the gap to score, putting the visitors 14-points clear.
However, with the Club back-line caught out of position, outside-centre Connor Wilkinson’s punt into space was met with perfection by full-back Chris Briers. Carleton glided over for the try which, with outside-half Danny Carlton’s conversion, reduced the arrears to a single score, but Blackheath, with the aid of one vital Jack Walsh tackle, were able to grind out the final eleven minutes and claim the win.
A Blackheath side will face The Army this Tuesday at Well Hall, kick-off at 7.45 pm. The Club’s next league fixture sees them host Loughborough Students on Saturday 25th November.
Tries: Grimes, Burtonwood, Carleton
Conv: Smith, Carlton
Tries: Baldwin, Tarrant 2, Bate
Conv: Tarrant 3
15 Leo Fielding
14 Jake Lloyd
13 Markus Burcham (Capt)
12 Alex Pickersgill
11 Tom Chapman
10 Joe Tarrant
9 Josh Davies
1 James Hallam
2 Mike Perks
3 Danny Herriott
4 CJ Osazuwa
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Freddie Owen
7 Harry Bate
8 Tom Baldwin
16 Harry Fry
17 Kieron Scutt
18 Hugh McCormick-Houston
19 Jack Walsh
20 Sam Evans