Blackheath 23 Darlington Mowden Park 7

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Bungled opportunities leave Club short

A third win on the bounce for Blackheath, but having led 20-0 at the interval, the Club will be left mightily frustrated to be rendered try-less in a scrappy, disappointing second period and, therefore, bereft of a bonus point. Despite dominating the third quarter, the Club lacked the precision and accuracy of the opening 40 minutes with spilt possession, poor decision-making and line-out ball going astray.

Fortunately, however, enough damage was inflicted in that first period to ensure that nothing bar a major turnaround in fortunes would interfere with a home victory, something which never looked likely and, despite the visitors’ better showing later in the match, the final result was never much in doubt.

Having knocked the ball forward at the kick-off, DMP proceeded to collapse the first scrum, allowing Freddie Gabbitass to get the Club under way with three points, and although the fly-half grazed the outside of the upright with a second penalty attempt (something he managed on two further occasions) it wasn’t long before the hosts had extended their lead.

Geoff Griffiths served notice with a fine break in the seventh minute only to see possession lost, but moments later the full-back was involved in the start of another move which, after play moved back-and-forth across the Mowden Park goal-line, he finished in the right corner for the first try.

DMP’s best opportunity of the first period came as Dave Allen was yellow carded for having illegally thwarted a breakaway, but with lost ball at the subsequent line-out, and the concession of a penalty, the chance was lost and within moments the Durham side were also reduced in number with hooker Santiago Socino despatched to the sin-bin.

With Tom Baldwin outstanding at blind-side, Blackheath continued to control both set-piece and breakdown, and a massive shove down the left flank was followed by Jack Walsh dummying his way under the uprights on 22 minutes, before an excellent touch from Gabbitass enabled Allen, restored to the field of play, to peel blind off the maul from the resultant line-out for a third score and a substantial half-time advantage.

Early pressure, and a second Gabbitass penalty, suggested more of the same after the break. But although George Edgson and Kieron Scutt came off the bench to continue the fine work of Aston Croall, Scott Wright and Terry Read at the set-scrum, and Markus Burcham and Jake Lloyd scored notable turnovers, Blackheath could not find the final execution to increase their tally further.

As the number of unforced Club errors increased, DMP second-row Rob Conquest rumbled over for the visitors’ only try of the match. Fly-half and skipper Gary Law drop-kicked a speedy conversion from out wide (probably the highlight of the second period!) in anticipation of further gain, but the game petered out with little of further interest.

Next Saturday Blackheath make the short journey to face current National League One leaders Rosslyn Park on their new 4G playing surface.

Kick-off at The Rock in Priory Lane is 3.00 pm.


Tries: Griffiths, Walsh, Allen
Conv: Gabbitass
Pens: Gabbitass 2

Darlington Mowden Park

Tries: Conquest
Conv: Law


Blackheath Team

15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Simon Whatling
11 Jamke Lloyd
10 Freddie Gabbitass
9 Jack Walsh

1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Terry Read
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Tom Baldwin
7 Dave Allen
8 James Catt

16 George Edgson (Wright)
17 Kieron Scutt (Read)
18 Tom Ellis (Catt)
19 Tom Trotter (Walsh)
20 Mark Briant (Whatling)

Graham Cox


  • Terry Taylor says:

    I have supported the “Club” since the early 50’s and am now trying to add facts rather than my vague recollections to a book I am writing about my life in north Kent .
    The Club was captained during the mid 50’s by “Neeley” and had a winger called I think “Blacklocks” or similar,we shared with London Irish playing alternate Saturday s their captain was a stocky stand off called Sean McDermott.
    I’m afraid this is a rather long winded way to ask ,where can I get accurate info to confirm my boyhood memories?
    I sincerely hope you can help me with these players or direct me in the right direction / website.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
    Kind regards
    T J Taylor

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