Given the awful weather for much of the week leading up to this match you might have wondered what kind of fare the good crowd at The Utilita might have expected. That the weather was warm, dry and sunny with little breeze helped both sides to serve up a bit of a treat. A 12 try match with both sides crossing 6 times, was highly entertaining. That the Club XV were playing last seasons champions served only to encourage what was unquestionably our strongest squad of the season.
Blackheath scored first after an excellent driving maul enabled Ollie Walliker to dot down. Each side traded tries throughout the first half with both packs matching each other in most departments and the two sets of backs defending good attacking play with Blackheath leading 19-12 at halftime.
The second half saw Blackheath stretch away leading 31-22 after 60 minutes only to suddenly lose defensive control and let Ampthill back into the game. The game was really on a knife edge until a controversial decision by the referee to award a try to Ampthill right in the left corner when it looked like the winger had put a foot in touch. Small margins indeed but we really lost it in a 10 minute period of defensive frailty midway through the second half.
Despite it being understandably wet under foot, the pitch held up remarkably well and this really was an enterprising game of rugby played by two good sides. It also showed the value of having a quality second team with no fewer than 6 players on Saturday having played first team rugby for Blackheath this term.
Blackheath tries: Walliker, Charnock(3) Stradwick (2)
Blackheath conversions: Cooke (3)
|2||WALLIKER, Ollie (C)|
|8||STRADWICK, Tom (VC)|
+ Blackheath Bandit / * Blackheath Colt