Blackheath 27 Leicester Lions 29

A narrow, but deserved, and much needed victory for the side who started the day at the foot of National League One.

Apart from a five-minute spell around the hour-mark, Blackheath had to concede second best to the East Midlands club on their first-ever league visit, which left no one at The Utilita in any doubt, that there are no easy games in this league.

The accuracy of their game a week earlier at Sedgley Park now deserted Blackheath, and while the Club lost the ball forward at the kick-off, Leicester Lions gained early momentum for fly-half Dan Lewis to put outside-centre Jamel Hamilton across within two minutes.

Jake Lloyd recovered a loose pass, Tom Everard made ground, and the former sent through a grubber-kick for Markus Burcham to ground, Matt Dalrymple adding a decent conversion, and for a while Blackheath held a 7-5 lead.

However, while the Lions’ defence remained largely disciplined and firm, Lewis and the excellent Hamilton exposed the Club’s right flank to put scrum-half James Stubbs across on 32 minutes.

Dalrymple clawed back three points for Blackheath from a high tackle, but as half-time approached, Lewis cleverly tapped forward and collected his own chip, to race away unopposed for a 19-10 interval lead for the visitors.

Lewis was again the creator on 52 minutes, as a perfectly weighted kick to the corner was met by right-wing Charlie Davies, extending the lead by a further five points, but following a lengthy break for the unfortunate Lions number-eight Nick Cairns, Blackheath struck back with three quick tries.

Ed Talyor took lineout ball and Billy Harding drove across, before Dalrymple found space on the left touch-line, the fly-half’s grubber dribbled forward by Harding for Burcham, once again, to do the grounding.

Then, it was Alex Noot who broke down the left, the wing finding Leo Fielding on his inside to cut a diagonal line and send Lloyd across, and although only one conversion was added, Blackheath held a 27-24 advantage.

However, as quickly as the fire was lit, it burnt out, and the handling errors returned, soon followed by a run of penalties.

With Hamilton and Lewis inevitably involved, and open-side James Murdoch neatly scooping up a kick forward, the Club’s defences were unlocked once again, and although Jake Hennessey wrapped himself around the Lions’ inside-centre, Luke Bouchier was able to claim the winning try.

Next Saturday Blackheath travel to the north-east to take on Darlington Mowden Park. Kick-off at the Darlington Arena is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Burcham 10, 60, Harding 57, Lloyd 62
Conv: Dalrymple 10, 57
Pens: Dalrymple 38

Leicester Lions

Tries: Hamilton 2, Stubbs 32, Lewis 39, Davies 52, Bouchier 72
Conv: Lewis 32, 39

Attendance: 650

Blackheath Team

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

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Tom Everard
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Paul Schroter
7 . Noah Sloot
8 . Ben Charnock

16 . Bill Harding
17 . Jack Owlett
18 . Tom Stradwick
19 . George Daly
22 . Will Davis

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox