By Nick Sullivan
The last of the Club’s away trips of the season looms tomorrow, with a visit to the glorious Oxfordshire Chiltern home of Chinnor RFC (9th).
Coached to a well-deserved promotion from Two South last season by Director of Rugby and former Harlequins’ hooker Matt Williams, assisted by Head Coach and…albeit briefly…Blackheath hooker Dan George, Chinnor have had a decent first season in National One. Results last weekend removed any lingering threat of relegation and the Oxfordshire side are already planning for next year. Announcements in the couple of weeks of a new front row trio with a combined weight of almost 400 kilos (that’s 880 lbs or approximately 63 stone) are a statement of intent for the season to come.
Our hosts are hoping to arrest a mini-slump in form tomorrow, looking for their first win in 5, but the visitors are also looking to make amends for last week’s disappointing result against Bishop’s Stortford. The rain should hold off and we could be in for a cracking game…
National One as at Friday 5 April 2019
|1||Ampthill & District||27||20||1||6||821||525||296||18||5||105|
|7||Darlington Mowden Park||27||12||1||14||665||713||-48||14||6||70|
Past Meetings and Recent Results
The solitary previous league meeting between these two was at Well Hall on 8 December where the home side notched a workmanlike 22 (1) – 14 (2) victory over their guests.
More recently, our hosts are looking to reverse a mini-slump, having lost their last four. Of their last three, the earliest was the visit of a resurgent Moseley side on 9 March. The West Midlands’ side ran rampant as the home side suffered a 7 (1) – 41 (7) reversal.
A week off followed before, on 23 March, Chinnor travelled northwest to Sale, where they fell 31 (4) – 22 (3) to the home side. Back at home last weekend, and perhaps unexpectedly, the Oxfordshire side met a fired up Loughborough Students team, again conceding 7 tries as they lost out 29 (4) – 50 (7) to the university team.
Match Day Details
Kick off at Kingsey Road is at 3pm. The man in the middle is Calum Howard, ably assisted around the edges by Michael Woods and Andrew Jackson.
It looks set to be a fairly cool day in Oxfordshire. Light cloud and temperatures up to around 11 degrees for kick off, there is the threat of the odd spot of rain, but it should stay largely dry with an 11mph easterly breeze.
Blackheath First XV V Chinnor AWAY 6 April 2019
15. Leo FIELDING
14. Jake LLOYD
13. Henry STAFF
12. Markus BURCHAM (Capt)
11. Ben RANSOM
10. Mark COOKE
9. Jack DALY
1. Tom WILLIAMS
2. Harry FRY
3. Danny HERRIOTT
4. Tom STRADWICK
5. Andrew DAISH
6. Freddie OWEN
7. Harry BATE
8. Anders NILSSON
16. Will PRIESTLEY
17. Billy YOUNG
18. Stephen LEONARD
19. Stef LIEBENBERG
20. Joe TARRANT
Around the Grounds
No change at the top last week as the top 4 stayed the same. After surviving a close scare at home to Rosslyn Park – scraping a 21 – 20 win – Ampthill (1st) hit the travel this weekend as they travel to Moseley (12th). The West Midlands’ side’s recent revival was temporarily halted by a 54 – 28 loss at Plymouth last week and this is likely to be another stern test against the league leaders who are unlikely to do them any favours.
Maximum points for Old Elthamians (2nd) away to Caldy last time out, as they swept the Wiirral side away with a 9 – 40 victory. Back on home turf this time as they host Cinderford (10th) at College Meadow in a game that the majority of punters are looking at a home win. Rosslyn Park (3rd) are also back on home turf, where they entertain Cambridge (13th). A much needed 29 – 15 bonus point win over DMP last weekend gave the Blood and Sand a 6 point cushion over the relegation zone but that seems unlikely to improve tomorrow.
Rotherham (5th), who lost 36 – 19 away at Cinderford and, as a result, are now unable to better their current 5th position, host Bishop’s Stortford (8th) in South Yorkshire. As is often the case, longest journey of the day falls to Plymouth Albion (6th) who face the 280-ish mile journey to Sale FC (11th). A quick look at Google maps says that will take 90 or 91 hours to walk, depending whether you use the A38 or A49…the choice is yours.
Darlington Mowden Park (7th) prepare to host a Caldy (14th) side desperate for points to aid their survival chances – although even a bonus point win will not change their position for this week at least. And, finally, Esher (16th) who got the bonus point as they sneaked past Sale 31 – 29 last weekend and announced former England and Lions’ star Peter Winterbottom as their new DoR during the week, have the Battle of the Bottom as they visit Loughborough Students (15th) in Leicestershire.
Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!