by Nick Sullivan
The league turns round this weekend just in time for Christmas and Blackheath will be hoping that the fat bloke brings them a return to form after some on-and-off performances in recent weeks.
Last up before a week off over the festive period , and for their second meeting this season, are visiting Rosslyn Park (13th). The two first met way back on 9 September. At that time, despite a first week 0 – 58 thrashing of Old Albanian, Park hadn’t quite got into gear and Club walked away from Southwest London with four points. Since those early faltering weeks, our guests have slowly improved and, whilst still languishing at the wrong end of the league, they will be a different proposition tomorrow.
National One as at Friday 22 December 2017
|2||Darlington Mowden Park||14||10||1||3||400||310||90||11||2||0||55|
|4||Ampthill and District||15||9||1||5||412||291||121||9||4||0||51|
Past Meetings and Recent Results
This is the 22nd meeting of the two sides since the Millennium season and the record is remarkably close – Ross Park 11 wins (7 home, 4 away), Blackheath 10 wins (for those who haven’t already done the maths, that must mean 6 home and 4 away). The reverse fixture this season ended in a comfortable 6 – 25 win at The Rock for the men in red and black back in early September.
More recently, Park were a victim of the weather a couple of weeks ago and have only played two matches in December. The earliest of those, on the 2nd, was a comprehensive 13 (1) – 43 (7) victory at Priory Lane for all-conquering Coventry. With an away tie at Hull Is frozen off on the 9th, our guests’ next match was last weekend against visiting Birmingham Moseley. A close fought game saw the host emerge victorious 30 (3) – 24 (4) and just climb their way out of the third relegation spot into 13th place.
Match Day Details
Kick off at Well Hall is 3pm. Ensuring fair play is Dan Parrott, ably assisted by Michael Tutty & Philip Bowers.
The weather of the last couple of days looks likely to continue into Saturday – overcast but no rain likely. The temperature will be 10/11 degrees most of the day but a little breezier than it has been as it picks up from the east at around 10mph.
If you cannot make 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 pm.
Blackheath First XV V Rosslyn Park HOME 23 December 2017
|13||Markus BURCHAM (Capt)|
Around the Grounds
The weekend before Christmas means that it’s local derby time for most. Coventry (1st) head into the festive weekend with a 13 point cushion at the top of the league and have an away derby at Moseley (8th) to negotiate before recharging the batteries. Meanwhile, their closest rivals DMP (2nd) welcome Hull Ionians (14th) to the Northern Echo Arena, whilst the Plymouth Albion (3rd) ‘derby’ involves a 200-odd mile trip to Esher (10th).
The two As meet in east Hertfordshire as Ampthill (4th) travel to Old Albanian (15th) and on the other side of the county a potentially cracking match is in store when Bishops Stortford (6th) host Old Elthamians (7th).
At the wrong end of the table, Loughborough Students (12th) welcome Cambridge (9th) to campus and bottom placed Fylde (16th) will be looking to inject some Christmas cheer as they welcome near-ish neighbours Caldy (12th) to The Woodlands.
The Heathens remain 5th in Zoo 1 despite losing 48-31 away at OEs last weekend. The boys have broken for Christmas now, but return to action with the first team on 6 January away to Ampthill.
Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!