Blackheath 36 Birmingham Moseley 12

A comfortable win for Blackheath against the side who started the day in third place in National League One, built on a first half display that saw the Club secure the four-try bonus by the interval.

Playing with pace and energy from the outset, the hosts clinically executed their opportunities, defended resolutely when required, and had enough of a cushion at the break to withstand the pressure that would come from the opposition in the second period.

As Jake Lloyd and Noah Sloot combined to gather possession from Tom Ffitch’s well-judged kick-off, space was found for Billy Harding to break on the right flank. Will Davis, who made ground all afternoon, punctured the defence, and as ball found its way to Mark Cooke, the inside-centre stepped inside before gliding across to put the hosts ahead with less than 70 seconds played.

Moseley responded with loose-head Ethan Priest piling over from a lineout move, the conversion rebounding off the upright, but as Blackheath kept up the tempo, Jake Hennessey came up from full-back to meet Ffitch’s pass and make the line break in midfield. Davis and a weaving Markus Burcham carried close to the goal-line, before Lloyd bludgeoned through three defenders to touch-down out wide.

The visitors launched their own assault from set-piece, only for Sloot to get underneath and hold ball up across the goal-line, and further pressure was relieved after Tom Everard pilfered a Moseley throw.

In the 33rd minute, Cooke’s back-handed pass found its way to Lloyd, the wing showing great footwork and shrugging away tacklers to slip under the uprights for his second try.

Then, as half-time approached, and with confidence surging, Blackheath opted for territory when three points were on offer, and as Cooke, Burcham and Andy Denham flew in and added their weight to the maul, Harding crashed over for 26-5 lead at the break.

A bright start to the second half from Blackheath was spoilt by a needless penalty for backchat, and despite losing a man to the bin for head contact, Moseley’s heavyweight pack began to get on top of a scrum which had shown parity prior to the interval.

On 57 minutes, the visitors picked and drove infield from lineout ball for fly-half Ollie Allsopp to dive across for a converted score, but a Ffitch penalty close to the hour-mark stretched Blackheath away again.

Archie Holland came off the bench to make a couple of hits and, like Sloot earlier, frustrated the West Midlanders by turning possession on the Club goal-line.

In the dying moments, Lloyd cut a swathe up field, and as the visitors went off their feet, the tap-penalty saw Tom Baldwin drive over, Ffitch adding a fourth conversion to complete the win.

Next Saturday, Blackheath travel to Berkshire to take on promotion challengers Rams, with kick-off at Old Bath Road at 3.00 pm. The Club return to The Utilita on 6th April for their penultimate home fixture against Sedgley Park.


Tries: Cooke 1, Lloyd 9, 33, Harding 38, Baldwin 80
Conv: Ffitch 1, 33, 38, 80
Pens: Ffitch 62

Birmingham Moseley

Tries: Priest 6, Allsopp 57
Conv: Jolly 57

Attendance: 403

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 . Jack Owlett
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Tom Everard
6 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
7 . Noah Sloot
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Ollie Walliker
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Paul Schroter
19 . Leo Fielding
20 . Stevie Clark-Leonard

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox

Footnote: I would like to thank everyone at Blackheath Rugby for the really kind contributions and support for my 10K run three weeks ago in aid of Blood Cancer UK. It was truly overwhelming – Thank You.