Blackheath 48 Guernsey 19

The two highest points scoring sides at the start of the afternoon in National League Two East, produced a further eleven tries in this contest, Blackheath crossing for eight of them to emerge comfortable winners, and regain top spot at the head of the table.

While Blackheath had stumbled at Old Albanian the previous week, Guernsey arrived at Well Hall on the back of a 71-14 thumping of lowly Westcliffe, and quickly set off in similar fashion by laying siege to the Blackheath goal-line.

However, on eight minutes, a Tom Stradwick tackle dislodged ball into the grateful hands of Paul Schroter, and as the open-side dummied his way out of defence, and galloped past half-way, Alex Harris came up on the outside to race home and give the hosts the early lead.

Blackheath’s set-piece was on top throughout and, with a penalty for not driving straight at the scrum going to touch, Oli Walliker made a few extra metres, before great hands from Nick Foster, and equally neat footwork from Jake Lloyd, allowed Harris over for his second of the match and seventh of the season.

Despite their issues at the scrum, Guernsey lacked nothing in physicality and a converted score as hooker Dan Morgan was driven over reduced the arrears for the Islanders, but Lloyd’s excellent pickup, and 50:22 from the narrowest of angles, set up field position for Schroter to be driven across, Tom Ffitch adding a third conversion.

Twenty-nine penalties were conceded throughout, fifteen against the visitors, and with another finding its way to touch, Oli Walliker piled over from lineout ball and Blackheath held a 26-7 lead at the break.

Within two minutes of the restart, the lead was extended as an optimistic punt out of defence was picked up by Foster, the full-back weaving a line to send Schroter gliding across for his second, and soon after Lloyd was, possibly fortunately, given the first grounding after Harris’ well-judged grubber bobbled in-goal.

Guernsey never gave up and Morgan drove across once again, and during a scrappy phase of play, the visitors picked up loose ball for wing Anthony Armstrong, elder brother of Matt making his home debut for Blackheath, to scamper home in the corner.

However, in between, Brendan McMillan had come on for his debut, and threw ball to set up the lineout maul from which Foster nipped around the blind-side for the Club’s seventh try and, as Guernsey’s discipline faltered, and two men headed for the bin, Dom McGeekie crashed over from a five-metre scrum for number eight.

Blackheath lead NL2E table, but have a chasing pack of four clubs just one point behind them, one of whom is Henley where the Club travel next Saturday. Kick off at Dry Leas is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Harris 8, 14 Schroter 28, 42 Walliker 39 Lloyd 55, Foster 75, McGeekie 79
Conv: Ffitch 8, 14, 28, 42


Tries: Morgan 22, 63 Armstrong 77
Conv: Davies 22, 63

Attendance: 530

Blackheath Team

15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Matt Armstrong
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Alex Harris
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Oli Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . James Catt
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Tom Stradwick
7 . Paul Schroter
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Brendan McMillan
17 . Charlie MacCallum
18 . Dom McGeekie
19 . Oli Claxton
20 . Andy Denham

Graham Cox

Photos: Andy Wansbury