The Big Match: Cambridge v Blackheath

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by Nick Sullivan

 

Winter’s reminding us that it’s on its way after snow flurries were spotted in Central London on Thursday.  So it’s time to dust down your thermals and wrap up for a trip to chilly East Anglia as Blackheath head up the M11 to Shanners’ old stamping ground at Volac Park to face Cambridge (8th).

 

The men from Southeast London have something to prove if they are to arrest a recent slump in form which has seen them with only one win in their last four outings, and that a single score victory over bottom placed Fylde.

 

The League

 

National One as at Friday 1 December 2017

 

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Ded Pts
1 Coventry 12 12 0 0 489 164 325 10 0 0 58
2 Darlington Mowden Park 12 8 1 3 366 285 81 11 2 0 47
3 Ampthill and District 12 8 1 3 338 190 148 8 3 0 45
4 Plymouth Albion 12 7 2 3 382 243 139 8 2 0 42
5 Blackheath 12 8 0 4 339 233 106 6 2 0 40
6 Bishop’s Stortford 12 8 1 3 312 298 14 4 1 0 39
7 Birmingham Moseley 12 7 1 4 293 312 -19 5 1 0 36
8 Cambridge 12 5 0 7 265 249 16 4 5 0 29
9 Old Elthamians 12 5 1 6 264 294 -30 5 2 0 29
10 Esher 12 5 0 7 310 365 -55 7 2 0 29
11 Hull Ionians 12 4 0 8 314 404 -90 8 2 0 26
12 Rosslyn Park 12 3 1 8 316 338 -22 6 3 0 23
13 Caldy 12 3 0 9 280 355 -75 6 5 0 23
14 Loughborough Students 12 4 0 8 266 383 -117 4 1 0 21
15 Old Albanian 12 3 0 9 217 373 -156 2 4 0 18
16 Fylde 12 2 0 10 177 442 -265 1 2 0 11

 

 

 

Past Meetings and Recent Results

 

There is quite a league history between these two sides, knocking lumps out of each other at Level Three since 2006, with only a three season break from 2013/14 allowing any respite.

 

That’s 16 matches of which only one has resulted in a draw – 23 apiece at Volac Park last season.  In fact, it is a well-balanced record, Blackheath having won 7 of 8 home ties and lost 6 of 8 away ties.

 

Looking to their recent form, Cambridge come into the match with one win and two losses under their belt.  They fell 27 (4) – 21 (2) away at Hull Ionians on 4 November and again 15 (2) – 22 (3) at home to Moseley the following weekend.  18 November was a rest weekend, and most recently they returned to winning ways with a comfortable looking 7 (1) – 54 (8) victory away at Old Albanian.

 

Match Day Details

 

Kick off at Volac Park is at 2 pm.  Ensuring fair play is Robert Bourke ably assisted by Mark Rose and Tracy Pettingale.

On the weather front, patchy rain is expected on Saturday morning, though largely drying up by the afternoon with some sunny spells possible. Temperatures will reach 5 or 6 degrees with a very light easterly wind.

 

If you are not travelling to Cambridge 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 5.00 pm.

 

 

Team News

 

Blackheath First XV V Cambridge  AWAY 2 December 2017

 

15. Leo FIELDING

14. Geoff GRIFFITHS

13. Markus BURCHAM (Capt)

12. Mark COOKE

11. Jake LLOYD

10. Joe TARRANT

9.  Josh DAVIES

1.  Haydon KING

2.  Mike PERKS

3.  Danny HERRIOTT

4.  Tom STRADWICK

5.  Anders NILSSON

6.  Hugh MCCORMICK-HOUSTON

7.  Harry BATE

8.   Tom BALDWIN

 

16. Harry FRY

17. Kieron SCUTT

18. Sam FARMER

19. Tom CHAPMAN

20. Sam EVANS

 

 

 

 

Around the Grounds

 

Elsewhere, leaders Coventry (1st) aim to keep their 11 point lead intact as they travel to Rosslyn Park (12th).  Match of the day though could prove to be at the Northern Echo Arena where Darlington Mowden Park (2nd) host Ampthill (3rd).

 

Plymouth Albion (4th) welcome Hull Ionians (11th) to Brickfields, and Bishops Stortford (6th) head north to face Fylde (16th).  Also on the road are Birmingham Moseley (7th) who head to Southeast London to take on Old Elthamians (9th).

 

Towards the wrong end of the table, Esher (10th) are on the bus to Loughborough (14th) and new boys Caldy (13th) prepare Paton Field for the visit of Old Albanian (15th).

 

 

Heathens

 

The Heathens maintain their 5th position in the Zoo League despite a disappointing loss away to Chinnor last weekend.  This weekend’ fixture against Cambridge has unfortunately been cancelled, allowing the boys a week to recover before a home tie against London Scottish next weekend.

 

 

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Graham Cox

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