Richmond 19 Blackheath 8

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A fierce, physical battle, as you’d expect between these two oldest of rivals.

It was a game also where, for the most part, defences were firmly on top, but a contest that ultimately hinged on two moments around the hour-mark.

On 55 minutes, following a high tackle, Mark Cooke opted for the long-range attempt at goal that would draw Blackheath within three points, but the fly-half’s kick was pushed across the uprights and fell wide.

Then, as Blackheath were caught holding on, Richmond found touch on the Club ten-metre line and sent lineout ball across field.  Leo Fielding’s earlier intercept had put the visitors on the front foot, but now as the right-wing broke ranks, it left the gap for Toby Saysell to storm through at pace, the blind-side off-loading to full-back Louis Molloy to sprint home from 30-metres.

Tom Hodgson added the conversion, and a fourth penalty a few minutes later, and with a potential score of 9-6 turned into 19-3, the game was over as a contest.

It was an immaculate kicking display from the Richmond fly-half who had put his side in the ascendancy with two early goals as the game started in bright winter sunshine.

For Blackheath, the set-piece functioned well, with a decisive edge at the scrum, and they gained good continuity in possession, but it made little territorial progress, even when Richmond were temporarily reduced to 14-men.

Instead, the Surrey side, who made greater inroads in the loose, won a further penalty for a deliberate knock-on, and Hodgson made it 9-0 at the break.

Cooke pulled three points back for the visitors after the re-start, and for a while Blackheath had the territorial advantage, until Richmond’s pace and clinical finishing took the game away.

Blackheath rallied in the final ten minutes, and a close-range lineout finally saw them open up the Richmond defence with a series of goal-line phases before Fielding sent Ben Ransom over out wide.

However, they couldn’t gain reward by prising a second opening, while Richmond march on in their bid to return to the Championship.

Next Saturday Blackheath host league-leaders Rosslyn Park in a huge match if the Club are to maintain their own hopes of promotion.  Kick off at Well Hall is at 3 pm.  

Richmond

Tries:   Molloy

Conv:  Hodgson

Pens:   Hodgson 4

Blackheath

Tries:   Ransom

Pens:   Cooke

Blackheath Team

15.Ben Ransom
14.Jake Lloyd
13.Alex Pickersgill
12.Markus Burcham (Capt)
11.Craig Dowsett
10.Mark Cooke
9.Jack Daly
 
1.Tom Williams
2.Mike Perks
3.Danny Herriott
4.Jamie Ure
5.Tom Stradwick
6.Tom Baldwin
7.Josh Poole
8.Tom Burns
16.Harry Fry
17.Harry Seward
18.James Catt
19.Dan Hiscocks
20.Leo Fielding

Graham Cox

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