Canterbury 12 Blackheath 57

Another eight tries to add to the ten from the previous Saturday, and the half-century racked up in successive weeks, in this convincing win on a breezy afternoon at Merton Lane, which takes Blackheath to the top of National League Two East.

Included in the tally, a hat-trick for outside-centre Jake Hennessey and a brace for left-wing Alex Harris, both exemplifying the Club’s penetration and strong running in open play, to which Canterbury had little response, and all topped off by the, almost, immaculate place-kicking of Tom Ffitch, the fly-half adding a further 17-points to his personal total.

There was an element of symmetry too, with four scores in each period, though the killer punch came in the final eight minutes of the first period which saw three of the tries.

Harris had already opened Blackheath’s account with a perfectly executed chip and chase on ten minutes, Ffitch adding the conversion and a penalty for 10-0, but now the former Old Colfeian made a strong break on his opposite wing before slipping the ball inside for Freddie Owen to score.

Moments later, Harris was back, flying down the left touchline for try number-three, and with Hennessey bludgeoning his way through tackles from 50-metres for the bonus point score, Blackheath led 31-0 at the break.

A fortnight earlier Tonbridge Juddian had overturned a 24-point deficit at Merton Lane to take victory, and at the re-start hope glimmered for Canterbury as Blackheath were reduced temporarily to 14-men, and the hosts’ reliable lineout saw open-side Alex Evans driven over.

However, it didn’t last long. Soon, Paul Schroter was driving into the heart of the Canterbury midfield, Harris, again, showed great feet, and Stevie Leonard crashed over.

As resistance continued to crumble, Ollie Claxton sent Hennessey in for his second, and on the hour-mark Nick Foster made the break before offloading for Jake Lloyd to score.

Hennessey completed his hat-trick with a fine run from half-way, before Canterbury gained consolation as skipper and second-row Jamie Stephens piled over off a close-range throw.

‘A derby match, so we knew it was going to be tough, and we really played well’ said a pleased head coach James Shanahan afterwards.

‘We got our basics right in the first half, our kick-chase game and our energy in defence forced a lot of turnovers which gave the opportunities for our broken field runners.’

‘Sets us up for next Saturday at home to Bury St Edmunds who, in fourth also with three wins, are also going really well.’

Kick-off against Bury St Edmunds at Well Hall next Saturday is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Harris 10, 35, Owen 32, Hennessey 38, 52, 71, Leonard 50, Lloyd 60
Conv: Ffitch 10, 32, 35, 38, 50, 52, 60
Pens: Ffitch 18


Tries: Evans 45, Stephens 80
Conv: Reynolds 80

Attendance: 576

Blackheath Team

15 . Nick Foster
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Jake Hennessey
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Alex Harris
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Ollie Claxton

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Oli Walliker
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Paul Schroter
5 . Tom Stradwick
6 . Stevie Leonard
7 . Harry Holland
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Alex Witchell
17 . Luc Jeannot
18 . Freddie Owen
19 . Jack Daly
20 . Andrew Denham

Graham Cox