Henley 2s 31 – Club XV 45

In a hastily arranged fixture following the cancellation of our scheduled home fixture with Belsize Park first team, the Club XV travelled to Henley for an end of season friendly.

On a lovely warm and sunny afternoon, Blackheath wasted little time in crossing the whitewash with centre Isaiah Akpovwa touching down following a great passage of play involving both forwards and backs. In what was to become the pattern of thisgame, Henley hit back soon after with a nice try by their number 11 dotting down in the corner.

Two excellent tries by 18-year-old centre, Tom Moran, who is certainly one to watch, were followed by a good try by Reyhan Taraq from good maul ball. Man of the match Taraq had a terrific day in the lineout securing plenty of good ball and showing lots of attacking endeavour in the loose.

Two further tries by Henley and a good try following a powerful forward drive by Alex Ringshall, one of 6 returning students in the side, took us to the break at 17-31 with Blackheath playing some entertainingrugby with forwards and backs linking well and expressing themselves at every opportunity.

HT- 17-31

The second half started in much the same vein as the first with both sides playing attacking rugby and it was Henley who were first to score from close out under the posts. And yes, back came Blackheath with captain Ollie Walliker dotting down following another impressive drive from the pack. Matt Dalrymple added the extras and his fourth conversion of the day.

By now, the game had become rather unstructured with both sides turning over ball that they really shouldn’t have been allowed but it certainly made for some exciting and entertaining rugby. The warm conditions were seemingly no barrier to endeavour and a credit to the fitness of both teams.

A special mention for Blackheath scrumhalf Mike Goodwin, who was playing his first game in two seasons following a bad injury. Not only did he last the full 80 minutes but was joint Man of the Match.

A regulation try from winger Joe Rust, converted by Dalrymple and two further tries for Henley wrapped things up and although the final points margin was 14 to Blackheath the second half was actually all square.

This was an enjoyable afternoon of rugby for players and spectators alike and one which Blackheath certainly deserved to win though one in which Henley played a significant part.

Final score: Henley 2’s 31-45 Blackheath Club XV

Men of the Match:
Reyhan Taraq & Mike Goodwin

Tries: Akpovwa, Moran (2), Taraq, Ringshall, Walliker, Rust

Conversions: Dalrymple x 5

Club XV

1. Jed Goodrum
2. Ollie Walliker (c)
3. James Cornish
4. Reyhan Taraq
5. Alex Washbourne
6. Alex Ringshall
7. Viv Valmiki
8. Tony Drennan
9. Mike Goodwin
10. Matt Dalrymple
11. James Rust
12. Tom Moran
13. Isaiah Akpovwa
14. Todd Revell
15. James Bush
16. Fin Edwards (for Goodrum 41minutes)
17. Tanatswa Chabata (for Ringshall 50 minutes)
18. Keelan Butler (for Valmiki 60 minutes)
19. Tawanda Chikuruhne

Craig Molloy