Blackheath 7 Plymouth Albion 46

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Albion crush ailing Club

Recent form will have suggested a one-sided contest and so it proved as Plymouth Albion eased their way to this straightforward win.

Having conceded the holy grail of promotion to all-conquering Hartpury College (who ominously for Blackheath arrive at Well Hall next Saturday) over a month ago, the Devon side have continued a run that now stretches to twelve matches, the National League One runners up spot secured with just 25 minutes of this contest played as Robin Wedlake was put away by second-row Dan Collier from close to the halfway line for the four-try bonus.

Conversely, Blackheath are now a shadow of the team that saw them competing in the top five prior to Christmas, and not even the inspiration of captain Markus Burcham making his 100th successive appearance in the Club’s number 13 jersey (pink on this occasion in honour of Ladies’ Day in support of South East London Breast Cancer Trust) could lift them from the slump that has seen them now lose eight of their last ten.

Nevertheless, there was a brief moment of cheer for the hosts. Their one solitary score came in only the second minute as Tom Baldwin’s inside ball sent Freddie Owen across, but it was to be a fleeting advantage. As Blackheath conceded possession, as they did all too frequently, ball was hoofed forward for Wedlake to collect in space and score, and soon after hooker Rupert Freestone was driven over from a close-range line-out.

Freddie Owen

Albion’s total dominance at the set-scrum enabled number-eight Herbie Stupple to touch down at the base, and as possession was gained straight from the re-start, Wedlake sprinted away for the left-wing’s second try, his side’s fourth, and a 22-7 lead for the visitors.

With George Mills immense at open-side, Albion continued to control just about every phase, and as ball was worked towards the right corner, Matt Shepherd squeezed across for a fifth try to add to the three conversions the scrum-half would ultimately claim, increasing Plymouth’s lead to 20-points at the break.

Jesse Liston

Indeed had Albion’s handling been a little slicker, and their line-out functioned more smoothly, the damage might have been far greater, but with Freestone rumbling across for his second, a deliberate knock-on giving a penalty try, and loose-head Tom Cowan-Dickie driving over for a further score, the Devonians would be content with a total of eight and an emphatic win.

Blackheath’s match against National League One champions Hartpury College is the final match of the 2016/17 campaign. Kick-off at Well Hall is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Owen
Conv: Cooke

Plymouth Albion

Tries: Wedlake 2, Freestone 2, Stupple, Shepherd, Penalty try, Cowan-Dickie
Conv: Shepherd 3

Blackheath Team

15 Mike Mvelase
14 Tom Chapman
13 Markus Burcham – Capt
12 Alex Pickersgill
11 Dan Hamilton
10 Mark Cooke
9 Jake Bedding

1 Aston Croall
2 Harry Fry
3 George Baker
4 Freddie Owen
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Chris Walker
7 Jesse Liston
8 Tom Baldwin

16 Mike Perks
17 Bertie Haskins
18 Devin Montgomery
19 Gregor Gillanders
20 Simon Whatling

Graham Cox

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