Blackheath 36 Sevenoaks 12

A sometimes devastating first period, followed by a largely forgettable second, but another bonus point win for Blackheath, the Club’s fifth of 2023, to extend their lead at the head of National League Two East.

In the opening 40 minutes, Blackheath’s intensity was all too much for a Sevenoaks side lurking close to the other end of the table. The Club’s speed at the breakdown persistently getting them over the gain-line, all built on a foundation of dominance at the set-piece, particularly the lineout.

It was an overthrown lineout from the visitors that led to the first try on only four minutes, as Ollie Walliker latched on to the loose ball, Tom Baldwin drove into the heart of the defence, and some fine handling saw Alex Harris across out wide.

The pressure was maintained, forcing handling errors from Sevenoaks, and soon the hosts were going through the phases close to the opposition goal-line, before James Catt touched down.

Sevenoaks responded impressively, turning defence into attack, as a thumping tackle from skipper and centre Nigel Gumbleton turned over possession, the ball quickly finding its way to Olly Rosillo, the full-back outstripping the cover and racing 50-metres to reduce the deficit to 12-5.

However, an attack down the right flank saw Olly Burgess, a late replacement at fly-half for Chris Bell, pass inside to send Baldwin over for the hosts, and as half-time approached, and Sevenoaks spilt possession, Jake Lloyd chipped the defence, Markus Burcham, as ever, demonstrated some powerful running, before off-loading to Andy Denham to cross, giving Blackheath a 26-5 lead at the interval.

In contrast, the second half was a disappointment, one instant apart.

In the 64th minute, Jake Hennessey decided to spurn support to his left, choosing instead to cut a delightful mazy line through the Sevenoaks defence for Blackheath’s fifth try, but the concession of 14 penalties, and two yellow cards, denied the Club the territory they’d enjoyed earlier.

Sevenoaks eventually took advantage of Blackheath’s indiscipline, and an extra man, by finding space down the left-wing, and sending open-side Alexi Hickin across out wide, fly-half Jack Martin adding a decent conversion.

However, doubtless wanting to avoid further infringement by his side, Hennessey slotted a late kick at goal for a relatively rare Sevenoaks transgression, completing a 16-point haul for the Club’s outside-centre and closing out the game.

Next Saturday, Blackheath fly out to Guernsey for their first-ever visit to Footes Lane. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Harris 4, Catt 14, Baldwin 27, Denham 39, Hennessey 64
Conv: Hennessey 14, 27, 39, 64
Pens: Hennessey 80


Tries: Rosillo 22, Hickin 78
Conv: Martin 78

Attendance: 440

Blackheath Team

15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Jake Hennessey
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Alex Harris
10 . Ollie Burgess
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Andy Boye
4 . James Catt
5 . Kaden Pearce-Paul
6 . Freddie Owen
7 . Andy Denham
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Luc Jeannot
18 . Charlie MacCallum
19 . Alex Brown
20 . Matt Armstrong

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox