Blackheath 52 Cinderford 12

Seven tries for Blackheath in a contest they dominated from start to finish, to complete a fourth victory in six starts at the outset of their National League One campaign.

On a dry, and unseasonably warm, autumnal afternoon, and in a game played at a high tempo throughout, only a brief interval of Cinderford pressure intervened, as the hosts took their opposition apart, even enjoying the luxury of botching further opportunities

As an early penalty found touch, Bill Harding, in his first Club outing at hooker, peeled off lineout ball to reach across the goal-line on the open side after only two minutes.

Moments later, Tom Ffitch caught the visitors with a quick tap-and-go, before a lovely step from Jake Hennessey sliced open the midfield for the full-back to claim his fourth try of the season, and with less than six minutes played, Blackheath were 14-0 ahead.

Ffitch added two penalties to both conversions, and as half-time approached, Matt Armstrong gathered a Cinderford clearance, Jake Lloyd neatly trapped a low pass with his right foot, before finding Hennessey and Armstrong looping behind to send Jack Daly across for a third try, and a 25-0 lead at the break.

Armstrong, who only made the starting line-up due to the late withdrawal of Leo Fielding, was immense throughout. The big left-wing made ground with every touch of the ball, swatting away defenders with ease, and with Blackheath opting for a scrum from a penalty under the posts five minutes after the re-start, it was he who claimed the four-try bonus, diving across out wide.

Cinderford struck back. A tap-penalty under the posts at the far end was illegally blocked for a penalty try to be awarded, and with the hosts a man down, was quickly followed by number-eight George Angell driving across after a penalty to touch.

However, Cinderford’s frustrations led to the Gloucestershire side temporarily losing a player for backchat, enabling Ffitch to further stretch Blackheath’s advantage with a third penalty on the hour.

One blemish aside, the Club’s lineout hummed majestically, Harding and Ollie Walliker accurate, Ed Taylor, Tom Stradwick and Tom Baldwin exercising fingertip control in the line, and, following a throw on 68 minutes, Archie Holland arrived in the front-row to drive across for a fifth try.

Cinderford had won a couple of early scrum penalties, but as the game progressed, Blackheath were more than happy to opt for the set-piece, and as ball was shipped wide, Chris Bell performed an inch-perfect dive to stay infield and touch-down over the goal-line.

Then, in the dying moments, a break by none other than Armstrong coming off his wing, sent Lloyd across to take the score beyond the half century.

Next Saturday, Blackheath travel to Oxfordshire to take on Chinnor. Kick-off at Kingsey Road is at 3.00 pm


Tries: Harding 2, Hennessey 5, Daly 40, Armstrong 45, Holland 68, Bell 78, Lloyd 80

Conv: Ffitch 2, 5, 45, 68

Pens: Ffitch 15, 30, 60


Tries: Penalty 46, Angell 55

Attendance: 303

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Shae Tucker
12 . Sam Hill
11 . Matt Armstrong
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Will Davis
2 . Bill Harding
3 . Jack Owlett
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
7 . Ronan Foley
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Ollie Walliker
17 . Archie Holland
18 . James Catt
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Matt Dalrymple

Photos: Andy Wansbury

Graham Cox