The Big Match: Ampthill & District v Blackheath

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Christmas is over all too quickly and Blackheath are straight back in the saddle with a tricky away trip to fourth placed Ampthill tomorrow.  Kick off at Dillingham Park is 2.15 pm

This is Amps’ third season at Level Three and they are already established as one of the league’s consistent and top sides, their record in the last two seasons being a third and a fourth placed finish.  Matches between the two sides have all been tense, tight fought affairs.  Blackheath will expect more of the same tomorrow and will be looking for a solid performance to shake off their poor pre-Christmas run of form.

 

The League

 

National One as at Friday 5 January 2018

 

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Ded Pts
1 Coventry 15 15 0 0 636 208 428 13 0 0 73
2 Darlington Mowden Park 15 11 1 3 426 310 116 12 2 0 60
3 Plymouth Albion 15 10 2 3 470 283 187 11 2 0 57
4 Ampthill and District 16 9 2 5 447 326 121 10 4 0 54
5 Blackheath 16 10 1 5 419 315 104 7 2 0 51
6 Bishop’s Stortford 16 10 1 5 432 381 51 6 3 0 51
7 Old Elthamians 16 8 1 7 387 367 20 7 2 0 43
8 Cambridge 16 8 0 8 344 328 16 4 5 0 41
9 Birmingham Moseley 15 7 1 7 353 430 -77 6 2 0 38
10 Caldy 16 6 0 10 367 400 -33 7 5 0 36
11 Esher 16 5 0 11 394 475 -81 9 4 0 33
12 Loughborough Students 16 6 0 10 369 492 -123 5 2 0 31
13 Rosslyn Park 15 4 2 9 376 424 -48 6 3 0 29
14 Hull Ionians 15 4 0 11 334 504 -170 8 2 0 26
15 Old Albanian 16 3 1 12 275 479 -204 3 4 0 21
16 Fylde 16 3 0 13 225 532 -307 2 3 0 17

 

Past Meetings and Recent Results

This is Club’s sixth match against their hosts, with honours currently standing at four wins to Blackheath and one to Ampthill.  Amps victory was a deserved 17 – 24 away win at Well Hall last February.  The reverse fixture this season saw the men from Southeast London sneak a 15 -16 victory in mid-September.

Ampthill’s last three matches have resulted in three very different outcomes.  On 9 December, they suffered a heavy loss away at Coventry, falling 63 (9) – 14 (2) to the league leaders.  A reversal of fortunes the following weekend as they hammered Hull Ionians 47 (7) – 17 (3) at Dillingham Park.  Their most recent game, the pre-Christmas clash on 23 December, witnessed a high-scoring 35 – all draw, albeit Amps outscored their opponents 6 tries to 4, away at Old Albanian.

 

Match Day Details

Kick off at Dillingham Park is at 2.15 pm.  Ensuring fair play is Neil Chivers, ably assisted by Mark Rose and Leo Burton.

With reports of temperatures being ‘colder than Mars’ on some parts of the North American continent and snow in areas of Florida for the first time in years, central England has escaped quite lightly, with tomorrow’s temperatures expected to be just above freezing.  It’s likely to be pretty cloudy with potential for some showers through the afternoon and a brisk 15mph northeasterly making it all feel a little colder.

If you are not travelling to Bedfordshire this weekend’s match, don’t forget the always excellent Graham Cox on BBC Radio Kent (96.7 FM, 104.2 FM, 774 AM, DAB & On-line) who provides live score updates and reports, post-match interviews, plus a full round-up National League results for all Kent clubs after 5.00 pm.

 

Team News

Blackheath First XV V Ampthill  AWAY 6 January 2018

15 Geoff GRIFFITHS
14 Leo FIELDING
13 Markus BURCHAM (Capt)
12 Mark COOKE
11 Jake LLOYD
10 Joe TARRANT
9 Josh DAVIES
1 Hayden KING
2 Mike PERKS
3 Kieron SCUTT
4 Neale PATRICK
5 Tom STRADWICK
6 Anders NILSSON
7 Harry BATE
8 Tom BALDWIN
16 Matt MILES
17 James HALLAM
18 Freddie OWEN
19 Tom CHAPMAN
20 Sam EVANS

 

Around the Grounds

Elsewhere, unbeaten league leaders Coventry (1st) entertain struggling Old Albanian (15th), whilst second placed DMP (2nd) travel to Volac Park to meet Cambridge (8th).  Plymouth Albion (3rd) welcome Bishops Stortford (6th) to Brickfields, whilst Old Elthamians (7th) open the gates to bottom of the shop Fylde (16th).

Moseley (9th) head northeast to meet Hull Ionians (14th) and Caldy (10th) have home advantage over Loughborough Students (12th).  Finally, a London (ish) derby sees Rosslyn Park (13th) take on Esher (11th) at The Rock.

 

Heathens

The Heathens, currently 5th in the league, were also due to travel to Ampthill, but this match has been called off.

 

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Graham Cox

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