Blackheath 34 Plymouth Albion 12

Jake Lloyd celebrated his 200th appearance in Club colours with his 107th try, as Blackheath claimed a third successive win for the first time in the current National League One campaign.

It came at an important moment for the hosts too as, with 54 minutes played Albion, who started the day five places above Blackheath in the league table in fourth spot, might have been sensing that a 17-5 half-time deficit was not insurmountable.

However, sharp thinking from Lloyd saw the Club wing intercept and race under the posts for Blackheath’s fourth try of the match, putting further distance between the sides, before the exceptional moment of the match effectively sealed the result.

From the re-start, Tom Stradwick bulldozed through the midfield, and as Jack Day and Tom Ffitch marshalled the hosts through the phases from half-back, and Andy Denham and Stradwick again made ground, Mark Cooke, with an outrageous pass akin to an American Football scrimmage, found Jake Hennessey, the full-back showing a great step to beat two defenders for a 26-point advantage.

Albion replied late, back-row Torin Clarke driving across, but Ffitch added a 75th minute penalty to his three conversions and Blackheath eased to victory.

It was all built on an excellent first period, made up of a solid set-piece, committed tackling in defence and the pack keeping Blackheath firmly on the front foot.

A powerful drive off lineout ball saw Stradwick over on three minutes, followed soon after by Billy Harding in similar fashion, the hooker peeling blind from a maul after Albion were temporarily down to 14-men for a high tackle.

On 22 minutes, Blackheath opted for a scrum from a penalty in front of the posts and, with the extra space available, Ffitch’s long pass sent send Andy Denham over out wide.

The final ten minutes of the period belonged to Albion as the visitors launched wave after wave of assaults in the Club twenty-two, only to be repelled by some great defensive work including a turnover from Will Davis.

Eventually, however, on the stroke of half-time, hooker Gabe Mead drove across to give the Devonians a glimmer, only for Lloyd to blot it out.

Blackheath have a week off now, before travelling to Richmond on Friday 8th March for an evening game, kicking-off at 8.00 pm at The Athletic Ground.

They return to The Utilita on Saturday 16th March for the visit of Birmingham Moseley.


Tries: Stradwick 3, Harding 12, Denham 22, Lloyd 54, Hennessey 57
Conv: Ffitch 22, 54, 57
Pens: Ffitch 75

Plymouth Albion

Tries: Mead 40, Clarke 70
Conv: Putt 70

Attendance: 372

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Markus Burcham
12 . Mark Cook
11 . Andy Denham
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Will Davis
2 . Billy Harding
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Tom Everard
6 . Paul Schroter
7 . Noah Sloot
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Ollie Walliker
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Ed Taylor
19 . Matt Armstrong
20 . Stevie Clark-Leonard

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox