by Nick Sullivan
A convincing if not spectacular win away for the travelling fans last weekend although, given the weather conditions, it was never going to be pretty. Blackheath’s opponents then were second from bottom but it’s the complete opposite this weekend as they travel to face the second top side in the shape of Darlington Mowden Park (2nd).
DMP are having a cracking season, quite a way behind leaders Coventry although a solid 6 points clear in second place. Only three losses (OAs, Blackheath, Esher) and a draw (Bishops Stortford) mar their record and all those results came away from home. Whilst they have yet to play Coventry (a weather affected fixture rescheduled for 24 February), a 100% home record is an impressive feat and will be a tough nut for the men from Southeast London to crack.
National One as at Friday 9 February 2018
|2||Darlington Mowden Park||19||15||1||3||549||363||186||14||2||0||78|
|3||Ampthill and District||21||12||4||5||562||403||159||12||4||0||72|
Past Meetings and Recent Results
Tomorrow will be the eighth meeting between these two sides over the last 4 seasons. Blackheath currently lead the sequence 5 wins to 2, although that is largely thanks to performances at home. On their own turf, DMP are a very tough proposition and have beaten the men from Southeast London two times from three.
More recently, DMP have won their last three – 2 quite close fought encounters and one fairly emphatic victory over Blackheath’s opponents from last weekend, Old Albanian. That was a 52 (8) – 24 (4) home win on 27 January, sandwiched by an 8(1) – 10(1) way win at Caldy on 20 January and last weekend’s 14 (1) – 19(3) win away at Old Elthamians.
Match Day Details
Kick off at the Northern Echo Arena is at the earlier time of 2pm. Taking charge is Matt Turvey, ably assisted by Jamie Leahy and Jason Garrick around the edges.
The weather…well, wet and miserable I’m afraid. The wind will pick up from the west over the course of the morning and is likely to be blowing around 15mph by kick off. That will be accompanied by heavy rain on and off through most of the day. Temperatures should climb their way up to 5 or 6 degrees.
If you are not travelling to County Durham 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 Darlington Mowden Park AWAY 10 February 2018
|13||Markus BURCHAM (Capt)|
If you’re making the trip to DMP you can still get your rugby fix as the 6 nations matches will be showing in the Clubhouse at Well Hall. Ireland take on Italy at 2:15, followed by England v Wales at 4:45
Around the Grounds
Elsewhere, top of the shop Coventry (1st) make the short-ish 40-odd mile trip northeast to visit Loughborough Students (13th). Ampthill (3rd) have a similar journey as the head Fen-ward to take on Cambridge (11th).
Plymouth (4th) travel to Southeast London to face Old Elthamians (6th) and a potentially close match in store sees 7th play 8th as Bishops Stortford (7th) host Birmingham Moseley (8th). An equally interesting clash has Rosslyn Park (9th) travelling to the Wirral Peninsula to face Caldy (10th).
At the wrong end of the table Esher (12th) host Old Albanian (15th) and finally Fylde (16th) welcome travelling Hull Ionians (14th).
Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!