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.
National One as at Friday 1 December 2017
|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|
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.
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).
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!