Leicester Lions 3 Blackheath 34

A great start, and fine end, to make it two from two, four-try bonus point away wins, for Blackheath on their return to National League One.

Sandwiched in-between, however, a lot of Leicester Lions pressure, which was effectively repelled, limiting the hosts to a solitary penalty.

It was Blackheath’s opening though, on the Club’s first-ever league visit to Westleigh Park, that stamped a firm authority on the contest on this mild and hazy afternoon, putting the visitors 12-0 ahead on just eight minutes.

Opting for a five-metre scrum from a kickable penalty, great work from Billy Harding, Ronan Foley on debut in the back-row, and Markus Burcham sent Sam Hill across out wide, for a try on the former Exeter Chief’s first start in Club colours.

Jake Lloyd broke down the right flank, and Burcham dummied through the midfield for Shae Tucker to score under the uprights, and although the Lions quickly responded with a penalty from fly-half Daniel Lewis, two strikes from Tom Ffitch stretched the visitors to an 18-3 advantage.

Tucker crossed the goal-line a second time, only to be held up but, on the half hour, the New Zealander switched wings to send Lloyd across for a third try.

Leicester dominated National League Two West to an even greater degree than Blackheath had done in the equivalent East division last term, losing only one of their 26 games, and now the East Midlanders in Level Three for the first time ever, began to put the visitors under the pump.

Ed Taylor had snatched an earlier lineout, but the Lions’ set-piece started to provide a platform, only for their assaults on the Club’s goal-line to be resisted, despite the loss of Tom Baldwin to the sin-bin.

Still depleted in number after the break, Ffitch added his third penalty, the Club fly-half then performing a fine piece of defence sweeping up and clearing loose ball, before himself becoming Blackheath’s second yellow card as they continued to be pressed.

Eventually, however, as a couple of Lions’ lineouts went awry, the visitors dug themselves out of their own half of the field and went back on the offensive.

Jack Statham came off the bench to make a first Club appearance in the back-row, and Ollie Walliker nearly capped a fine performance at hooker with a score from a neat lineout move but, like Tucker, was held up.

However, moments later, close-range scrum ball was moved across field for Jake Hennessey to cross, securing Blackheath maximum points, Ffitch adding a fourth penalty goal at the very death.

Next Saturday, Blackheath return to home soil at The Utilita, for the visit of Darlington Mowden Park. Kick off is at 3 pm.

Leicester Lions

Pens: Lewis 11


Tries: Hill 5, Tucker 8, Lloyd 30, Hennessey 68
Conv: Ffitch 8
Pens: Ffitch 15, 25, 43, 79

Attendance: 170

Blackheath Team

15 . Jake Hennessey
14 . Jake Lloyd
13 . Sam Hill
12 . Markus Burcham
11 . Shae Tucker
10 . Tom Ffitch
9 . Jack Daly

1 . Archie Holland
2 . Ollie Walliker
3 . Jack Owlett
4 . James Catt
5 . Ed Taylor (Capt)
6 . Ronan Foley
7 . Bill Harding
8 . Tom Baldwin

16 . Will Davis
17 . Andy Boye
18 . Jack Statham
19 . Chris Bell
20 . Leo Fielding

Graham Cox