Not many sides come away from Brickfields with all five league points, and for two worrying minutes at the end of this contest it looked as if Blackheath might be letting their opportunity to do just that slip from their grasp.
Having built a 21-point advantage over their opponents, the Club’s discipline began to desert them and, conceding penalties to give away field position, Albion drove prop Koree Britton across for a converted try, soon to be followed by the acquisition of a penalty try as Blackheath collapsed the maul, bringing the Devonians within a score of drawing level.
Nevertheless, and despite being down to 14-men, Blackheath regained the control they’d exerted for a majority of the match, winning a scrum penalty and seeing out time.
With Shek Sheriff, making his debut, adding power to the second-row, Tom Baldwin making his first start after a year out at blind-side, and the ever-industrious Tom Burns at number-eight, Blackheath spent almost the entire first period in Albion territory and, at the end of the opening quarter, their pressure was rewarded with an eight-man line-out driving Harry Fry over for the first try.
Leo Fielding couldn’t hang on to the final pass as Jake Lloyd and Josh Poole made ground on the right, but the he soon popped up on the opposite wing to score after Craig Dowsett punched a hole in midfield, Jack Daly made a dart, and Markus Burcham fed the full-back for a well-taken score.
Mark Cooke added his second conversion for a 14-0 half-time lead, extended by a further five points, as Fry was driven across for his second try within a minute of the re-start.
The game loosened up enough for Plymouth to gain more possession and, as Blackheath infringed, hooker Sam Daly drove over off lineout ball to reduce the deficit to 19-5, but as the visitors moved play from side to side in the Albion twenty-two, Danny Herriott nonchalantly took the mis-pass one-handed, off-loading to front-row colleague Tom Williams to storm over, and at 26-5 the Club looked out of sight with less than fifteen minutes to play.
Nevertheless, in front of their vociferous home crowd, Albion found another gear to push Blackheath all the way, the visitors needing to hold firm at the very death.
Blackheath’s next match sees them host Bishop’s Stortford this Saturday at Well Hall. The kick-off has been moved forward to 2.00 pm to avoid traffic congestion caused by Blackheath Fireworks.
Well Hall will be opening its doors early (8.30 am) this Saturday for the RWC Final between England and South Africa (KO 9.00 am). Food and beverages will be available.
Tries: Daly, Britton, Penalty try
Tries: Fry 2, Fielding, Williams
Conv: Cooke 3
|12||.||Markus Burcham (Capt)|