The Big Match: Bishop’s Stortford v Blackheath

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by Nick Sullivan

The men in red and black have the relatively short, in National One terms, 40 mile trip north to meet Bishop’s Stortford (13th) this weekend.

The Hertfordshire side probably qualify as a bogey side for Blackheath, the latter having never beaten their hosts, although there is no great list of previous fixtures.  Despite their lowly league position at present, Stortford have had many close games this season and managed to win at Cinderford away last time out of the blocks – a feat Club could not quite manage the week before.

So Shanners’ charges will be prepared for a tough encounter once they get off the coach on Saturday afternoon.

 

The League

National One as at Friday 30 November 2018

 

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Points
1 Blackheath 12 9 1 2 327 241 86 5 0 43
2 Old Elthamians 12 8 2 2 328 270 58 5 1 42
3 Chinnor 12 7 2 3 312 285 27 6 3 41
4 Ampthill & District 12 7 1 4 331 233 98 7 3 40
5 Rosslyn Park 12 7 1 4 340 311 29 8 1 39
6 Rotherham 12 7 0 5 330 279 51 7 2 37
7 Caldy 12 7 0 5 305 288 17 6 3 37
8 Cinderford 12 6 1 5 259 273 -14 4 3 33
9 Darlington Mowden Park 12 6 0 6 318 333 -15 7 2 33
10 Cambridge 12 5 1 6 251 261 -10 2 5 29
11 Sale FC 12 5 1 6 343 369 -26 5 2 29
12 Plymouth Albion 12 4 0 8 226 254 -28 3 5 24
13 Bishops Stortford 12 4 0 8 261 229 32 3 4 23
14 Birmingham Moseley 12 3 0 9 324 382 -58 5 6 23
15 Esher 12 4 0 8 228 316 -88 2 3 21
16 Loughborough Students 12 2 0 10 297 456 -159 7 3 18

 

Past Meetings and Recent Results

These two met for the first time in league action last season and, as Blackheath lost both games, that must make Stortford a bogey side.  The visitors threw away a 19 -0 lead to lose 19 (3) – 21 (3) at home in November last time out, followed by a 15 (2) – 5 (1) loss at Silver Leys on Good Friday this year.

More recently, Stortford have halted a five game losing run by winning 0 – 11(1) at Cinderford’s Forest of Dean home last weekend.  Prior to that, they had fallen 3 (0) – 13 (1) at home to Caldy on 17 November and a narrow 23 (3) – 22 (3) loss away at Cambridge on 3 November.

 

Match Day Details

Kick off at Silver Leys is at 3pm.  The man in the middle is Daniel Collins ably assisted by Robert Teare and Matthew Todd.

Mother Nature continues to chuck the wet and windy stuff around this weekend…but it’s not that bad.  There is likely to be  a lot of rain around throughout the morning but petering out once the sun (not that we’ll see it) passes the yard arm and the day will have generally calmed down by kick off.  The wind will remain around 13/14 mph from the southwest but, otherwise, it will be a pretty mild feeling 12 degrees for most of the day.

If you are not travelling to Hertfordshire this weekend, 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 pm.

 

Team News

Blackheath First XV V Bishop’s Stortford  AWAY 1 December 2018

 

15 Joe Tarrant
14 Jake Lloyd
13 Henry Staff
12 Markus Burcham (Capt)
11 Elliot Clements-Hill
10 Mark Cooke
9 Stef Liebenberg
1 Tom Williams
2 Mike Perks
3 Danny Herriott
4 Josh Peters
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Freddie Owen
7 Harry Bate
8 Anders Nilsson
16 Harry Fry
17 Phil Ackuaku
18 Billy Young
19 Jack Daly
20 Jake Spivey

 

Around the Grounds

Back in Southeast London, near neighbours Old Elthamians (2nd), who scraped by Cambridge away last week, welcome Caldy (7th) to College Meadow.  The Wirral side were narrowly beaten at home by Rotherham last time out, although still scored 5 tries in the process.  Always a tricky side to play, but being on the road and OE’s strength means the home side start as favourites.

Club’s opponents next weekend, Chinnor (3rd) travel to Leicestershire to face Club’s opponents from last weekend, Loughborough Students (16th).  The home side will hope to build on a solid performance at Well Hall, whilst the visitors look to extent their unbeaten run to 6 weeks.  Ampthill (4th) face the difficult task of taking on Rosslyn Park (5th) away.  Both sides won against decent opposition last weekend and this could prove too close to call, although Amps’ pack may hold the edge.

Rotherham (6th) prepare for the visit of Cinderford (8th) to Clifton Lane.  The Foresters are looking to recover from being nilled by Bishop’s Stortford last weekend, although with the trek they face, the home side must start as favourite.  Another potentially close looking match sees seventh play eighth, 2 sides that both lost last time out, in the Northeast.  DMP (7th) take on Cambridge (8th) at the Darlington Arena.

Elsewhere, Sale FC (11th) will want to put some distance between them and the bottom 5 clubs as they host Esher (15th) at Heywood Road.  And, finally, in the West Midlands, two former Championship sides clash as Moseley (14th) look for a second win on the trot as Plymouth Albion (12th) come a-calling.

 

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Graham Cox

One Comment

  • mike_kenny@talk21.com says:

    Looks like they’re definitely a side whose recent form belies their position in the table…. Here’s hoping we can keep it tight and disciplined today, snatch the full 5 points, and above all…
    Bash those Bishops!
    Come on you Club!!

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