Chinnor 34 Blackheath 28

Photos courtesy of Alan Smith

Four tries in the final 14 minutes of a spirited fightback, not only provided Blackheath with two league bonus points, but also added some respectability to the final score-line.

Nevertheless, it also shouldn’t disguise the fact that for the opening hour of this contest, the Club were firmly under the cosh from a Chinnor side who played the conditions far more impressively.

Indeed, the conditions were horrible, at least for the first period, and Blackheath got the worst of it. With the wind driving the rain, so heavy it blotted out any views of this pleasant corner of rural Oxfordshire, into their faces, the visitors were soon on the back foot as Chinnor won the inevitable aerial battle.

Number-eight Fred Tuilagi crashed over on 13 minutes, following a quickly taken tap-penalty by Luke Carter, and half-back partner Nick Smith’s cross-field kick soon after saw the hosts picking and driving through the heart of the Club’s defence for Max Clementson to touch down beneath the uprights, outside-centre James Bourton adding both conversions.

The open-side added his second in the 35th minute after Smith latched on to Bourton’s high ball, and at half-time Chinnor led 19-0 with Blackheath hardly getting out of their own half of the field.

The rain eased significantly at the start of the second period, but it did little to alter the flow.

Carter and Smith combined after the re-start to slice open the visitors’ midfield, for hooker Cameron Terry to cross, and when the ball was shipped to the right following a five-metre scrum for wing Ryan Crowley to dive over, Chinnor were moving out of sight at 29-0.

However, a couple of penalties saw Blackheath with a five-metre lineout, and on 66 minutes Tom Stradwick crashed over to notch up a first try.

Chinnor’s discipline continued to crumble, and Matt Meek was able to add Blackheath’s second in similar fashion, as home front-row Keston Lines was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Dan Hiscocks.

Second-row Willie Ryan and Conor Brockschmidt combined nicely for the latter to romp away for the hosts’ sixth score, but with the game loosening up, Ollie Claxton broke down Blackheath’s right flank to send Hiscocks on a diagonal run to the uprights.

With only two minutes remaining Jake Hennessey quickly drop-kicked the conversion, and as Meek caught Chinnor napping behind their own ruck, James Newey flicked a pass to Marcus Kershaw, the Club wing batting away three defenders to capture the four-try bonus.

A second point was available should Sam Evans kick the difficult conversion, the fly-half duly obliging.

Next Saturday Blackheath return to home soil for the visit of Cambridge, kick-off at Well Hall is at 3.00 pm


Tries: Tuilagi 13, Clementson 18 35, Terry 43, Crowley 60, Brockschmidt 75
Conv: Bourton 13 18


Tries: Stradwick 66, Meek 70, Hiscocks 78, Kershaw 80
Conv: Evans 66 70 80, Hennessey 78

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Howard Packman
13 . Jake Lloyd
12 . James Newey
11 . Marcus Kershaw
10 . Sam Evans
9 . Dan Hiscocks

1 . Charlie Brown
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Matt Collins
4 . Tom Stradwick
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Dom McGeekie
7 . Freddie Owen
8 . Steve Leonard

16 . Harry Fry
17 . Stef North
18 . Jamie Ure
19 . Ollie Claxton
20 . Matt Meek

Graham Cox