Blackheath 22 Rams 42

A dominant final half-hour saw Blackheath eventually succumb, as Rams powered to a six-try victory, keeping the Berkshire club in pole position in National League One.

For 70 minutes, the hosts kept the visitors within range, but the size and weight of the opposition eventually proved too much, and the Club finished a contest empty handed on home soil for the first time this season.

Blackheath got the better start. Looking to inject pace and energy from the outset, the initial scrum triggered a lovely move for Sam Hill and Leo Fielding to send Alex Noot across for a try, converted well from out wide by Mark Cooke, with just two minutes played.

Turnover ball, however, put Rams into Club territory, where they were destined to stay for most of the period.

Despite disruption of their lineout and a competitive scrum, Rams’ powerful running and efficient recycling created the space for full-back Henry Bird to cross twice, first courtesy of centre Ellis Jones, followed by an equally neat off-load from fly-half Fraser Honey, after the back-row had made inroads in the defence.

Ollie Walliker crashed over on the blind-side of a maul off lineout ball, as Rams were temporarily reduced in number for a dangerous tackle, leaving Blackheath just two points adrift at the interval, and with hosts again on the attack straight from the re-start, Cooke slotted a penalty to nudge them 15-14 ahead.

However, if there was one area that proved decisive, it was the strength of the Rams bench, and now all five of their replacements, including two props, entered the fray and helped set siege on the Club’s defences.

Repeated assaults were repelled, but failure to effectively exit meant the Club remained under pressure, and on 62 minutes the ramparts were breached as tight-head James Baker piled over.

A fourth try moments later, as replacement scrum-half Ollie Monye darted over when the Club lost possession on their own put-in, looked to have killed the game dead, but Blackheath’s response was to see Will Davis break off a maul for a converted try to bring the deficit down to 22-28.

But it offered only brief hope as Rams’ Axel Kalling-Smith beat a tiring defence to collect his own hoof forward, and opposite wing Charlie Robson tore down the left flank for a final try, Honey adding a sixth successful conversion.

The four-try bonus was still available for Blackheath, but it eluded them as Alex Witchell was bundled into touch a metre short at the very last.

Next Saturday Blackheath make the journey to Manchester to face Sedgley Park. Kick-off at Park Lane is at 2.30 pm.


Tries: Noot 2, Walliker 40, Davis 70
Conv: Cooke 2, 70
Pens: Cooke 44


Tries: Bird 22, 32, Baker 62, Monye 65, Kalling-Smith 72, Robson 77
Conv: Honey 22, 32, 62, 65, 72, 77

Attendance: 806

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Alex Noot
13 . Shae Tucker
12 . Sam Hill
11 . Leo Fielding
10 . Mark Cooke
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Will Davis
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Paul Schroter
7 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Michael Etete
19 . Matt Dalrymple
20 . Ronan Foley

Pics: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox