Blackheath 50 Henley 28

A fine game, with Blackheath taking an early initiative, only for Henley to launch a strong fight-back, the Oxfordshire side taking lead on the hour-mark.

Short-lived though as, during the final quarter, the Club showed the class that has seen them lead National League Two East for almost the entire season, scoring 24 unanswered points to ease out to victory.

The match had eleven tries in total, three of them accruing to Blackheath in the opening 26 minutes.

The Club started out at a ferocious pace, perhaps too frantic at times, as Henley were able to turnover possession twice, but on 17 minutes Freddie Owen steamed over after Kaden Pearce-Paul had collected lineout ball to open the scoring.

Then, in the space of four minutes, Markus Burcham added two further tries, the first after he was put through by Oli Burgess, and then following Nick Foster cutting a line through the Henley defence, before the full-back found his inside-centre on hand to finish for a 21-0 lead.

However, Henley had arrived at Well Hall having won six of their last seven and now, having been deprived of territory to that point, capitalised on an error.

Lost ball at the re-start gave the visitors their first foothold in the hosts’ twenty-two, and a tap-penalty saw blind-side Morgan MacRae over out wide, reducing the half-time deficit to 21-7.

A fired-up Henley then emerged for the second period, first working scrum-half Will Crow across before, on 46 minutes, Leo Webb found himself clear, the wing outsprinting the cover to touch down beneath the uprights for the visitors to draw level.

Blackheath moved ahead again, as Alex Harris and Jake Lloyd combined down the left flank for the former to score a fine try, but a lineout drive on the hour saw MacRae over for his second, fly-half Max Titchener’s fourth conversion edging the visitors ahead for the only time.

Only for five minutes. With the Club pack dominant at the scrum, and driving well, Jack Daly moved blind off a maul for the hosts’ fifth try. Burgess added the conversion and, soon after, a penalty to ease Blackheath to an eight-point advantage, and the Club fly half beautifully evaded a tackle to find Foster who sent Andy Denham over as ball was moved across field.

Finally, in the dying moments, a move down the right off scrum ball saw Burcham unselfishly send Lloyd over out wide, Burgess bringing up the half century with a sixth conversion.

Next Saturday, Blackheath make the journey to Norfolk to take on North Walsham. Kick off at Scottow is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Owen 17, Burcham 22, 26, Harris 52, Daly 65, Denham 78, Lloyd 80
Conv: Burgess 17, 22, 26, 65, 78, 80
Pens: Burgess 75


Tries: MacRae 29, 60, Crow 42, Webb 46
Conv: Titchener 29, 42, 46, 60

Attendance: 455

Blackheath Team

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

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

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Luc Jeannot
18 . Harry Holland
19 . Jake Hennessey
20 . Andy Denham

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox