Cinderford 18 Blackheath 30

A stop-start game, punctuated by numerous penalties, most especially in a somewhat stodgy first period.

Blackheath won’t mind a jot though, as this win, their first in four matches, gives the Club a precious four points, and some clear water between themselves and the National League One drop zone.

On a Dockham Road surface made heavy by recent rains, Blackheath had eased their way into a comfortable 20-6 lead by the hour-mark, but two tries in five minutes suddenly brought the Gloucestershire side back within two-points.

Hooker Nathan Taylor was driven across from lineout ball for a converted try on 63 minutes, and as Blackheath lost ball forward after an intercept, Cinderford countered from deep, Will Baldwin mopping-up inside-centre Max Knight’s chip towards the right-touch-line, the wing feeding full-back Matt Jones for score which brought the hitherto stifled home crowd back to life.

However, Blackheath held firm, despite a second yellow card.

A high tackle gave Tom Ffitch his third successful penalty strike, and from a scrum put-in the visitors gained ground going through the phases, before Tom Baldwin drove over to complete the victory.

Blackheath had come under huge pressure in the early minutes, conceding three scrum penalties (with numerous re-sets), before the Cinderford tight-head was adjudged not straight, and the Club manufactured an exit without cost.

The visitors’ first major assault saw Mark Cooke, reunited in his centre partnership with Markus Burcham after a number of years, make ground on the right flank, before ball came inside for Andy Boye to burrow his way through for the opening try on 14 minutes.

The conversion went over from Ffitch, and although Cinderford got across the goal-line at the other end, the ball was held up, and the men from the Forest of Dean were limited to three points from the boot of fly-half Joe Winfield prior to the interval.

Ffitch added a penalty within a minute of the restart, and when Baldwin charged-down, gathered and stormed forward from a clearance kick, Cooke and Noah Sloot were quickly up in support, before Tom Everard crashed through the remaining cover for the second-row’s first try for Blackheath.

Another scrum penalty allowed Winfield to claw back three points for the hosts, and a multi-phased attack from Blackheath broke down with a knock-on close to the opposition goal-line.

However, a rejuvenated front-row of Archie Holland, Ollie Walliker and Jack Owlett won Blackheath their own scrum penalty, and a 14-point advantage looked enough, before two quick Cinderford strikes livened up the closing stages.

Next Saturday, Blackheath host league-leaders Chinnor. Kick-off at The Utilita is at 3.00 pm.


Tries: Taylor 64, Jones 68
Conv: Winfield 68
Pens: Winfield 35, 51


Tries Boye 14, Everard 47, Baldwin 79
Conv: Ffitch 14, 47, 79
Pens: Ffitch 41, 58, 76

Attendance: 300

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Markus Burcham
12 . Mark Cooke
11 . Andy Denham
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Will Davis
2 . Billy Harding
3 . Andrew Boye
4 . Tom Everard
5 . Tom Stradwick
6 . Paul Schroter
7 . Stevie Clark-Leonard
8 . Tom Baldwin (Capt)

16 . Ollie Walliker
17 . Archie Holland
18 . Jack Owlett
19 . Matt Armstrong
20 . Noah Sloot

Graham Cox