Blackheath 50 North Walsham 3

Another comfortable home win for Blackheath, their fifth at Well Hall where they remain unbeaten this term, and one which keeps them firmly at the helm in National League Two East.

In contrast, North Walsham, looking to re-establish themselves at domestic rugby’s fourth tier after two successive promotions, sit second from bottom of the table, but had the notable scalp of Henley, and arrived on this grey, damp, afternoon on the back of a 49-5 thumping of lowly Westcliffe a week earlier.

The visitors started brightly enough too, a drop-goal attempt unluckily striking the upright before captain and fly-half Matt Hodgson put them ahead by three points with just six minutes played.

However, Blackheath’s first attack, on nine minutes, saw Tom Baldwin galloping through a hole in defence and, a few phases later, Tom Ffitch sending Nick Foster across.

Baldwin himself crashed over on the blind-side of a lineout drive soon after, as Blackheath stamped firm authority up front, before Foster added a third, the full-back taking high ball well and receiving the scoring pass after fine work from Jake Lloyd, extra metres from Tom Stradwick, and Markus Burcham neat inside ball, to finish the move he started.

Jack Daly scampered through some poor defending at the ruck for the four-try bonus, and on home debut, Lewis Hollidge crossed out wide after Burcham had cut a lovely angle, giving the hosts a 31-3 lead at the interval.

Walsh fought tenaciously in the second period, and held Blackheath at bay during a messy third quarter.

However, the Club’s dominant lineout saw Brendan McMillan drive over from close-range in the 59th minute and, soon after, Ffitch sped over from a quickly taken tap-penalty.

Walsh’s best opportunity of the second period came late on as they forced a five-metre put-in, but with Archie Holland immense both sides of the front-row, Blackheath won the penalty to clear, and as further pressure saw the visitors infringe beneath their posts, Stradwick crossed from the tap-and-go, Ffitch adding a fifth conversion to bring up the half-century.

Blackheath’s next match is away to Tonbridge Juddian. Kick off at The Slade is at the earlier time of 2.30 pm.


Tries: Foster 8, 21, Baldwin 18, Daly 27, Hollidge 39, McMillan 59, Ffitch 65, Stradwick 80
Conv: Ffitch 8, 18, 27, 59, 80

North Walsham

Pens: M Hodgson 6

Attendance: 400

Blackheath Team

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

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

16 . Brendan McMillan
17 . Luc Jeannot
18 . James Catt
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Oli Claxton

Graham Cox

Pics: Andy Wansbury