Blackheath 46 Bury St Edmunds 28

A comfortable enough margin of victory, and Blackheath will be happy with maintaining their one hundred percent record to keep them at the head of National League 2 East.

However, Bury St Edmunds will also have left Well Hall content with a 4-try bonus, and knowing their three score burst in six minutes in the third quarter tested the hosts to the full.

In the end though, Blackheath had done enough, with six tries in the opening period, to stamp authority on the game.

‘I told the boys to show some belief at half-time and they did that massively,’ said Bury head coach Ben Penfold.

‘We got the three tries and might have had a fourth but for a bit of blocking. We just need to learn to start faster.’

In fact the visitors didn’t get the worst of starts with Samir Kharbouch snapping up loose ball to scamper away for a 7-0 lead on just two minutes.

However, Tom Ffitch soon had Blackheath on the board with a penalty, and as Markus Burcham spotted a gap, Freddie Owen put Alex Harris away for their first try.

Nick Foster, who carved up Bury’s defence from full-back on numerous occasions, produced inside ball for Jake Hennessey to cross, before a scrum in front of the uprights saw Jake Lloyd hit a diagonal run for the right corner.

The right-wing then combined beautifully with Oli Claxton, who drove the Club forward relentlessly, for the scrum-half to score, before another Foster break put Lloyd across for a second, and with Burcham scoring from an intercept, Blackheath were almost out of sight with a 39-7 lead at the break.

Nevertheless, the spark deserted the hosts after the re-start, and as the Club came under pressure for the first time in the match, Rob Conquest found space in the right corner for a try.

Will Affleck intercepted on half-way to break unopposed for a third score, the Bury right-wing then showing great pace again a moment later after the visitors turned over possession at the breakdown, and with Charlie Reed adding three excellent conversions from out wide, the deficit was suddenly down to just 11 points.

However, Blackheath, with Andrew Boye working tirelessly at tight-head for the full eighty, regained their grip, and as the hosts went through phases in the opposition twenty-two in the 77th minute, Ffitch squirmed over to put the result beyond doubt.

‘We were outstanding in the first half’, said Club head coach James Shanahan. ‘Our defence, our kick-chase game, and our attack were all very good.’

‘Bury must take a lot of credit for the second period though. They came out with a different mindset, were a lot more effective at the breakdown, played in the right areas, and for the first time we struggled to cope.’

‘We’ll learn a lot from that!’


Tries: Harris 12, Hennessey 16, Lloyd 22, 31, Claxton 26, Burcham 34, Ffitch 77
Conv: Ffitch 12, 31, 34, 77
Pens Ffitch 10

Bury St Edmunds

Tries: Kharbouch 2, Conquest 52, Affleck 54, 58
Conv: Reed 2, 52, 54, 58

Attendance: 325

Blackheath Team

15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Jake Hennessey
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Alex Harris
10 . Tom ffitch
9 . Ollie Claxton

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Oli Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Paul Schroter
5 . Tom Stradwick
6 . Stevie Leonard
7 . Freddie Owen
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Luc Jeannot
18 . Ed Taylor
19 . Jack Daly
20 . Andy Denham

Graham Cox

Photos: Andy Wansbury