Blackheath 31 Barnes 12

A definite improvement on the somewhat uninspiring, stop-start, performance at Bury St Edmunds a week previously, Blackheath running in five tries against two from the visitors from Surrey, to complete a comfortable win.

Amongst the scores, a hat-trick for Shae Tucker, the New Zealander and former Cornish Pirate producing an excellent display at outside-centre, and complementing some neat passages of play from the Club back division.

Barnes had given Blackheath a torrid time up front at Queen Elizabeth Drive in April, and opened the scoring on three minutes following a drive off lineout ball.

Moments later, however, a delightful off-load from Tom Ffitch sent Tucker through for his first score, quickly followed by a second for the Kiwi, as Nick Jansen, Ffitch and Matt Armstrong combined to move the ball across field.

Barnes hit back with a second try of their own, before a massive drive from the dominant Club pack, including a young Finley O’Sullivan at lock, saw Jack Owlett bundle over for a 19-12 interval lead for the hosts.

Tucker completed his hat-trick soon after the re-start with a diagonal break to the right corner after lineout ball, but the game struggled a little with a strong breeze blowing across field, and an increasing penalty count.

However, there was the welcome sight of Mark Cooke back in Club colours, the fly-half finding Tucker and Markus Burcham to send Jake Hennessey to the left corner with the final play.

Prior to this match the Club XV also recorded a successful day, recovering from a 26-5 deficit to emerge 41-26 winners against their Barnes counterparts.

Blackheath now play Canterbury at Well Hall on the evening of Friday 25th August, before their National League One campaign begins at Taunton on 2nd September.

Graham Cox