The Big Match: Blackheath v Loughborough Students

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Blackheath return home this weekend after last weekend’s nail biting end to their visit to the Forest of Dean.

This time out, we welcome Loughborough Students (16th) to Well Hall.  Despite their lowly position in the table, the Students’ side have shown some form recently, winning two of their last four games.  They are also quite capable of scoring points – having scored a fairly similar number to their hosts.  On the face of it, it is a leaky defence that lets them down.

 

The League

National One as at Friday 23 November 2018

 

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Points
1 Blackheath 11 8 1 2 288 209 79 4 0 38
2 Old Elthamians 11 7 2 2 308 253 55 5 1 38
3 Chinnor 11 6 2 3 284 264 20 5 3 36
4 Caldy 11 7 0 4 276 255 21 5 2 35
5 Ampthill & District 11 6 1 4 291 204 87 6 3 35
6 Rosslyn Park 11 6 1 4 305 290 15 7 1 34
7 Cinderford 11 6 1 4 259 262 -3 4 3 33
8 Rotherham 11 6 0 5 297 250 47 6 2 32
9 Darlington Mowden Park 11 6 0 5 289 293 -4 6 2 32
10 Cambridge 11 5 1 5 234 241 -7 2 4 28
11 Sale FC 11 5 1 5 322 341 -19 5 1 28
12 Plymouth Albion 11 4 0 7 205 219 -14 3 5 24
13 Esher 11 4 0 7 207 278 -71 2 3 21
14 Bishops Stortford 11 3 0 8 250 229 21 3 4 19
15 Birmingham Moseley 11 2 0 9 286 361 -75 4 6 18
16 Loughborough Students 11 2 0 9 265 417 -152 6 2 16

 

Past Meetings and Recent Results

The Leicestershire side have graced National One with their presence since the 2012/13 season.

Unusually, Blackheath have a better record away than they do at home.  The home record reads 2 wins, 3 losses and a draw, compared to the away list of 4 wins, 1 loss and a draw.  Club’s last 2 seasons have been particularly poor – losing both encounters in 2016/17 and then losing 21 – 22 at Well Hall this time last year (25th November to be precise) and then drawing 34 apiece in Leicestershire in March.  So history, it seems, favours our guests tomorrow.

More recently, despite their position at the foot of the table, Loughborough have been involved in some pretty tight and high-scoring games.  If we looked at the last four games, rather than last three, they would have two wins to their name, both at home.

On 27 October, our visitors travelled to Southwest London to meet Rosslyn Park in what proved to be a 70-point extravaganza.  The Townies ended up victors with a 39 (6) – 31 (4) final score.  The following weekend, the Students hosted Moseley on campus, beating the West Midlands side 35 (5) – 25 (3) to record only their second win of the campaign.  Finally, after the League half-term week off, Lough travelled cross country to face new boys Sale FC.  A final score there reminiscent of that in London, with the away side losing out 38 (6) – 31 (4).

 

Match Day Details

Kick off at Well Hall is at 3pm.  The man in the middle is Jack Lewars, ably assisted by Michael Woods and Andrew Jackson.

Mother Nature has picked up from where we were earlier this week.  The temperature should reach the dizzying height of around 9 degrees come kick off tomorrow, although it will be cloudy with a chance of showers through most of the day.  There is likely to be a gentle 8/9 mph easterly breeze.

If you cannot make the game 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 Loughborough Students  HOME 24 November 2018

 

15 Joe Tarrant
14 Jake Lloyd
13 Henry Staff
12 Markus Burcham (Capt)
11 Craig Dowsett
10 Mark Cooke
9 Jack Daly
1 Tom Williams
2 Mike Perks
3 Tom Concu
4 Neale Patrick
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Freddie Owen
7 Harry Bate
8 Anders Nilsson
16 Harry Fry
17 Danny Herriott
18 Billy Young
19 Jake Spivey
20 Alex Pickersgill

 

Around the Grounds

So, what are the other lot up to?  Club’s near neighbours, both geographically and, errr,  league-ly, Old Elthamians (2nd) make the trip up the M11 to Cambridge (10th) tomorrow.  Despite the difference in league positions, games between the two tend to be close – all their recent league encounters being settled by less than a score.  That said, OEs won both matches last season and must be favourite to extend that run tomorrow.

In Oxfordshire, a clash of the new comers sees Chinnor (3rd) host Sale (11th), the home side likely to be favourite in what could be a high-scoring game.  A tricky match to call sees Caldy (4th) welcome Rotherham (8th) to Paton Field.  A spurt of form from the South Yorkshire side seems to have petered off in recent weeks but could reignite at any time and Caldy are always dangerous at home.  This could go either way but the balance must be with the home side.

Ampthill (5th) will look to extend their recent run of form as they prepare for a home tie against Darlington Mowden Park (9th).  Plymouth Albion (12th), who haven’t won in over a month, hope that home advantage will count in their clash with Rosslyn Park (6th), who have yet to record a ‘W’ in November.

Most punters will favour the recent comeback kings, Cinderford (7th) with home advantage for the second week in a row as they host mis-firing Bishops Stortford (12th).  Stortford haven’t won since the beginning of October although they have had some pretty close results in the intervening period.  Finally, an improving Esher (13th) side welcome Birmingham Moseley (15th) to Molesey Road for what is like to be a tough and hard fought affair.

 

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Graham Cox

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