Blackheath 29 Dorking 10

Clear daylight between the sides at the final whistle, but Dorking made Blackheath work mighty hard for this opening day win, with the result only settled in the final quarter.

In the end though, the Surrey team had no answer to the power of the Club’s pack and their driving maul, which set the platform for all five of their tries.

On this fine afternoon at Well Hall, Blackheath took just eight minutes to register their first score, Tom Stradwick took lineout ball five metres from the Dorking goal-line and Paul Schroter, on debut, burrowed through the ensuing drive to touch down.

Nevertheless, Dorking, who won 21 of their 26 matches in achieving promotion to Level Four last term, were soon on the scoreboard themselves as Henry Anscombe landed a penalty.

A further strike from the Dorking fly-half, this time from the half-way line, struck the upright, and although the visitors came under huge pressure as Blackheath went through numerous phases, tenacious tackling eventually forced the error, and loose ball was picked up by Toby McRae, the wing showing great pace to sprint 80 metres for 10-5 advantage.

Short-lived though. On 26 minutes, Tom Baldwin, captaining the side on his return to Club colours, took lineout ball, and the maul splintered, Harry Holland crashed over for the try which, with Oli Burgess’ conversion, gave Blackheath a 12-10 interval lead.

A massive shove from a scrum got Blackheath on the front foot at the outset of the second period, and as Jack Daly fed the attacking line, Nick Foster exploited a gap for a third score, but it was only in the 62nd minute that the hosts could begin to feel comfortable.

As the pack, once again, made good ground off lineout ball, play moved inside for Jake Hennessey, the centre making inroads under the uprights before offloading to Andy Denham to round off the move.

Dorking fought back and mounted a period of sustained pressure of their own with two close range lineouts, but the Club defence held firm.

As the hosts relieved the siege, the visitors conceded quick penalties, and another impressive maul followed, before Chris Bell’s long pass, and a neat backhanded flick from Foster, found Jake Lloyd to go in at the corner.

Next Saturday Blackheath take on another of the promoted sides as they make the short journey to Sevenoaks. Kick off at Knole Paddock in Plymouth Drive is at 3.00 pm


Tries: Schroter 8, H Holland 26, Foster 43, Denham 62, Lloyd 77
Conv: Burgess 26, Hennessey 62


Tries: McRae 20
Conv: Anscombe 20
Pens: Anscombe 12

Attendance: 623

Blackheath Team

15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Jake Hennessey
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Andrew Denham
10 . Oli Burgess
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Luc Jeannot
2 . Oli Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Paul Schroter
5 . Tom Stradwick
6 . Stevie Leonard
7 . Harry Holland
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Freddie Owen
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Alex Harris

Graham Cox

Photos: Andy Wansbury