It looked an emphatic win in the end, but Barnes tested Blackheath as hard as anyone at Well Hall in National League Two East this term, and had their lineout served them better, might have pushed the scoreline harder.
As it was, Blackheath etched out another resounding victory, and one which widens their lead at the head of the table to six points.
Credit for the demolition job on the Barnes lineout that must go to Tom Stradwick. The Club’s second row and forwards’ coach, along with his well-versed pack, did such effective homework on the visitors’ set-piece that they seldom had a solid platform from that aspect of the game to work from.
The scrum, however, was a more even contest and, ironically, it was from this phase that Blackheath scored twice during a dominant opening 21 minutes.
In the 13th minute ball was moved right for Nick Foster to send Jake Lloyd across in the corner, and soon after, the full-back was on the opposite side to make the final pass, this time for Alex Harris to squeeze over, Tom Ffitch adding two fine conversions.
Barnes’ first serious attack did manage a rare successful lineout, from which Dev Hope crashed over on the open-side for the visitors’ only try, but a Ffitch penalty gave the hosts a 17-5 lead at the break.
The advantage was extended straight from the re-start. Harris came off his wing to receive Jake Hennessey’s pass, the left-wing scything a line, before releasing Lloyd for his second try, the upright denying Ffitch what would have been a perfect kicking display.
However, the league-leaders were unable to relax during a largely scrappy second period. Twice they needed to turn over possession in defence, only a forward pass denying Barnes what would have been a fine try, and accidental off-side in the maul blunted one golden opportunity.
It wasn’t until the 76th minute that the game was firmly settled. Lloyd’s punt towards the Barnes goal-line was recovered, but the clearance was taken by Foster for Lloyd to shred apart the opposition once more for his hat-trick.
Then, in the dying moments, Markus Burcham intercepted, and although held short of the goal-line, had Freddie Owen on hand to pop the ball up for Hennessey to dive over for a fifth score.
Next Saturday Blackheath travel to Worthing. Kick off at Roundstone Lane is at 2.00 pm.
Tries: Lloyd 13, 41, 76, Harris 21, Hennessey 79
Conv: Ffitch 13, 21, 76, 79
Pens: Ffitch 39
Tries: Hope 26
15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Jake Hennessey
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Alex Harris
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly
1 . Luc Jeannot
2 . Oli Walliker
3 . Archie Holland
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Paul Schroter
7 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
8 . Tom Baldwin
16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Charlie MacCallum
18 . Freddie Owen
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Oli Claxton
Photos: Andy Wansbury