Blackheath 21 Richmond 17

The two clubs who played out a nil-nil draw in the first-ever game of rugby union back in 1864, and who went into this National League One match evenly placed, produced another tight contest, Blackheath hanging on for victory after Richmond scored a 75th minute try to bring them within range.

‘It was a strange game,’ said Blackheath boss James Shanahan.

‘We controlled the first 15 minutes without many points, but then Richmond dominated for large periods.’

‘I thought we started well in the second period, and might have kicked on, but then spent 20 minutes defending, until we turned over ball and went the length of the field to give us some breathing space.’

‘Defensively we were outstanding, I think our determination and energy levels were brilliant. We just need a little more in attack, as another try when we were on top would have given us a more convincing win.’

‘However, after two defeats on the road, I’ll take four points against Richmond.’

It was Blackheath who started the better. On five minutes, Markus Burcham, making his 250th appearance in a Club jersey, dummied through midfield, Leo Fielding, celebrating exactly 150 fewer games, sent Tom Baldwin to the goal-line, and recycled ball saw Alex Noot cross out wide on home debut.

However, Richmond began to assert themselves, and although seeing ball held up, and knocking-on at close range, loose ball hacked forward was seized upon by Sean Kerr, the centre converting from out wide.

Twice Blackheath had possession turned over as they pressed off lineout ball, but it was Richmond, with Luc Jones marshalling their game from scrum-half, who edged the first period as Kerr struck a penalty for 10-7 interval lead.

An interception from Noot put the hosts back on the front foot after the re-start, the visitors conceding a penalty and a yellow card for killing the play.

Ollie Walliker burrowed over from the resultant lineout to re-take the advantage, Matt Dalrymple adding a second fine strike from out wide, but despite being depleted in number, it was Richmond who now dominated territory and built pressure.

However, close to the hour, loose ball was snapped up close to the Club goal-line, and as Fielding broke at pace into Richmond territory, the wing found Jake Hennessey up in support to finish, Mark Cooke striking the conversion.

Richmond eventually got their try, as Ethan Benson drove across after a penalty went to touch, but Blackheath saw out the remaining five minutes without alarm.

Next Saturday Blackheath are on the road again as they head to Birmingham Moseley. Kick off at Billesley Common is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Noot 5, Walliker 43, Hennessey 58,
Conv: Dalrymple 5, 43, Cooke 58


Tries: Kerr 24, Benson 75
Conv: Kerr 24, 75
Pens: Kerr 40

Attendance: 938

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Alex Noot
13 . Shae Tucker
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Leo Fielding
10 . Matt Dalrymple
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Paul Schroter
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
7 . Ronan Foley
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Will Davis
18 . Fin O’Sullivan
19 . Sam Hill
20 . Mark Cooke

Pics: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox