The Big Match: Blackheath v Fylde

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by Nick Sullivan

If it seems like an age since Blackheath’s last match, that’s because it is.  Last weekend’s away fixture at Bishop’s Stortford was rescheduled as a result of freezing temperatures during the week and several tons of snow (and now rescheduled for 2.30 pm on Good Friday, 30 March).  The weekend before that was a free weekend, so the Club lads have not seen action since Joe Tarrant’s last gasp conversion sank Esher 29 – 28 on 17 February.

Back in the saddle this weekend as Southeast London welcomes visiting Fylde (16th) to Well Hall.  The Lancashire side have been up against it this season and, indeed, would be mathematically relegated tomorrow if they fail to gain any points.  That background makes them very difficult opponents fighting for their National One lives.

 

The League

National One as at Friday 9 March 2018

 

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Ded Pts
1 Coventry 23 22 0 1 970 333 637 21 0 0 109
2 Darlington Mowden Park 22 16 1 5 601 458 143 15 2 0 83
3 Plymouth Albion 21 14 2 5 597 366 231 13 4 0 77
4 Ampthill and District 23 13 4 6 600 437 163 13 4 0 77
5 Blackheath 23 14 1 8 615 476 139 10 3 0 71
6 Old Elthamians 23 13 1 9 569 497 72 10 3 0 67
7 Birmingham Moseley 24 12 2 10 555 621 -66 10 3 0 65
8 Bishop’s Stortford 22 11 1 10 522 526 -4 6 5 0 57
9 Caldy 23 10 0 13 556 508 48 10 7 0 57
10 Rosslyn Park 23 8 2 13 556 636 -80 11 5 0 52
11 Esher 23 7 2 14 582 689 -107 14 6 0 52
12 Cambridge 22 10 0 12 410 427 -17 4 7 0 51
13 Loughborough Students 23 7 2 14 529 699 -170 7 5 0 44
14 Hull Ionians 23 7 1 15 504 716 -212 11 3 0 44
15 Old Albanian 24 6 1 17 448 739 -291 7 4 0 37
16 Fylde 24 3 0 21 312 798 -486 2 4 0 18

 

Past Meetings and Recent Results

Our guests have an impressive record against Blackheath.  Indeed, the home side’s record is better away than at home.  The two sides have been knocking lumps out of each other since the 2011/12 season, with Blackheath having only 2 wins at home against 3 away.  Fylde have won 4 at The Woodlands and 3 on the road in London.  The numerically quick amongst you will have worked out that this means there is also a draw somewhere along the line – and that would be the 34-all result at Rectory Field in December 2015.

Despite taking a few shoeings from the Lancastrians over the years, the more recent record favours the home side.  Blackheath won the reverse fixture back in November 19 – 26, and also both of last year’s meetings.

As for our guests’ recent outings, whilst not having won since December, they have shown an ability to score points in their recent fixtures.  The most recent of their last three games, undaunted by the weather, saw them go down 21 (3) – 31 (5) at home to fellow strugglers Old Albanian last weekend.  An away trip to the West Midlands on 17 February turned out a similar result – Moseley winning 36 (6) – 21 (3) against the visiting side.  The earliest of the most recent clashes was also a home tie against similarly threatened Hull Ionians, a tightly fought game seeing the Yorkshire side emerge victorious, just, at 12 – 14 against their red rose opponents.

 

Match Day Details

Kick off at Well Hall is at 3pm.  The man in the middle is Jack Lewars ably assisted by Philip Bowers and one yet to be announced.

Mother Nature has been in a far more benevolent mood in the last few days than she was this time last week.  The temperature looks likely to each the giddy heights of 13 or 14 degrees although feeling slightly cooler in a 10mph southerly breeze.  Expect it to be cloudy with the lingering threat of the odd shower although by no means guaranteed.

If you cannot make Well Hall 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 Fylde  HOME 10 March 2018

 

15 Geoff GRIFFITHS
14 Alex PICKERSGILL
13 Markus BURCHAM (Capt)
12 Mark COOKE
11 Jake LLLOYD
10 Joe TARRANT
9 Jack WALSH
1 Hayden KING
2 Matt MILES
3 Danny HERRIOTT
4 CJ OSAZUWA
5 Neale PATRICK
6 Tom STRADWICK
7 Anders NILSSON
8 Tom BALDWIN
16 Mike PERKS
17 James HALLAM
18 Freddie OWEN
19 Josh DAVIES
20 Tom CHAPMAN

 

Around the Grounds

Coventry (1st), having despatched nearest rivals DMP away from home a fortnight ago, are now very much Champions Elect.  Twenty-six points clear in first place, and needing 15 points from 7 games to become mathematical champions, the men in blue and white have a home tie against Old Elthamians (6th) tomorrow.  OEs have been on a good run of form and are likely to give Cov a run for their money, but the home side are punters’ favourites to reap a third of their required points tally tomorrow.

Despite two losses in a row for the first time this season, Darlington Mowden Park (2nd) retain second place and have a chance to cement that positon as they head south to visit The Rock and one of this season’s curates eggs in the form of Rosslyn Park (10th).  A potential corker for third placed Plymouth Albion (3rd) as they travel to Bedfordshire for a clash with Ampthill (4th).  Despite home advantage, Amps have been off the boil recently and Albion will fancy their chances.

Birmingham Moseley (6th) are favourites for the points in a home tie against Cambridge (12th) although Cambs have played very well in patches this seasons and could spring a surprise.  Esher (11th), looking for their first win since January, host Bishop’s Stortford (6th) and relegation threatened Hull Ionians (14th) will be keen to turn on the magic against visiting Caldy (9th).

Finally, two sides tussling at the wrong end of the table meet as Old Albanian (15th) welcome Loughborough Students (13th) to the Woollams Playing Fields.

 

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Graham Cox

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