Blackheath bamboozle Birmingham in Billesley bonanza
Easily Blackheath’s best performance of an encouraging start to the new season, and probably their finest display away from Well Hall in a year. On a grey, windy afternoon in the West Midlands, the Club lit up the gloom, at least for themselves, with a total of nine tries, no less than five of them coming in the first period, effectively sealing the contest by the interval.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t all built around attack. A forward pass and the concession of a penalty at the first scrum to a Moseley pack who at times gained an edge at the set-piece, put the visitors under huge pressure, but as the defence held firm and the hosts held on too long, the early siege was lifted.
As Josh Davies, who along with Joe Tarrant at half-back orchestrated play brilliantly throughout, sent up a box kick, Jake Lloyd collected cleanly to release Geoff Griffiths, and with numbers up in force Danny Herriott drove over for the first score on eight minutes.
Lloyd and Griffiths also had storming games out on the flanks, and it was the former who scored next as more fine off-loading, and a final flicked pass from Leo Fielding up into the line from full-back, saw the right-wing barging through two tacklers to cross out wide.
A quickly taken tap-penalty from Josh Davies sent Matt Miles rampaging forward, before a lovely inside-ball had Griffiths gliding through a gap in the Moseley three-quarter line, and with Miles showing outstandingly nimble footwork for 35-year old hooker to prise open the opposition defence and take play to the goal-line once again, Freddie Owen reached across for the bonus point try on just 32 minutes.
Then, with Blackheath continuing to make ground at every breakdown, Fielding, up into the attack once more, injected a burst of pace for try number five on the stroke of half-time and a lead of 31-0.
Moseley had fumbled the initial kick-off, setting the pattern for an error strewn first period, but with the breeze behind them and better handling, the hosts enjoyed their best period at the start of the second period, culminating in a penalty try as Blackheath collapsed the maul on 51 minutes.
Griffiths scored his second try out wide soon after, as Markus Burcham ripped possession (for a third time), and CJ Osazuwa made ground, but as an excellent break from Mose left-wing Mark Harrison set up a try for replacement loose-forward Ciaran Moore, an increasingly dejected home audience brightened, spying that with the score now 14-36, Moseley might gain respectability if nothing more.
However, three Blackheath tries in the final four minutes would disappoint them. As the Club pack drove off line-out towards the goal-line, Moseley came in at the side to concede a penalty try, and as Tom Chapman collected a high ball on half-way and off-loaded deftly to Fielding, the full-back equally as skilfully collected his own chip ahead to dive across.
And finally, as Tarrant brought up the half-century with the conversion and Moseley went through the motions of re-starting for the final 30 seconds, the Club fly-half suddenly found himself clear and heading to the left corner to crown an emphatic display.
The win, their fifth in six matches, keeps Blackheath in fourth place in National League One and the Club will look to maintain their form as they move towards back-to-back home matches.
Next Saturday Old Albanian are the visitors, while a week later on 21st October, Darlington Mowden Park arrive at Well Hall. Both matches kick-off at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Penalty try, Moore
Tries: Herriott, Lloyd, Griffiths 2, Owen, Fielding 2, Penalty try, Tarrant
Conv: Tarrant 4
15 Leo Fielding
14 Geoff Griffiths
13 Markus Burcham (Capt)
12 Mark Cooke
11 Jake Lloyd
10 Joe Tarrant
9 Josh Davies
1 James Hallam
2 Matt Miles
3 Danny Herriott
4 Chukwuma Osazuwa
5 Neale Patrick
6 Tom Stradwick
7 Sam Farmer
8 Tom Baldwin
16 Mike Perks
17 Kieron Scutt
18 Freddie Owen
19 Jake Bedding
20 Tom Chapman