Loughborough Students 15 Blackheath 23

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Damp affair keeps Blackheath on course

A disappointing, error-strewn game dominated throughout by both sides’ inability to cope with a ball made greasy by the heavy burst of rain prior to kick-off, followed by stop-start drizzle.

In the end, however, Blackheath’s superior forward-power, backed up by the reliable boot of Freddie Gabbitass, steered them to victory, but only after Loughborough had taken the lead, and then threatened once again late-on.

Not many (and there weren’t that many out on this miserable afternoon) on the University Campus will care to remember the opening 28 minutes of this contest. An all-weather surface may provide for better footing, but without any dirt the ball becomes slimier than ever and both teams spilt possession continuously.

Eventually, though, Loughborough strung together some passes, and although the move ended in touch, open-side Andrew Boyce was driven over from the line-out to break the deadlock. Fly-half Edward Williams added a penalty soon after as Blackheath were adjudged to have dragged down an attacking scrum, and the Leicestershire side ended the first period with an 8-0 advantage.

Initially the second period promised little better for the visitors as a second line-out throw went wayward, and ball was poorly controlled as the set-scrum motored forward, but the injection of Jack Walsh and George Edgson from the bench was to change the course.

A scrum infringement gave Gabbitass the first of his three penalty goals in the 48th minute, and as Walsh hoofed loose ball forward, the pressure was kept up, and with the Students collapsing a mighty drive off line-out ball, referee Veryan Boscawen despatched blind-side James Hill to the sin-bin before awarding the penalty try.

Another drive of nuclear proportions from the twenty-two metre line on the opposite side of the field saw Dave Allen claim his sixth try of the season, and with Gabbitass adding the conversion from out wide, as well as sandwiching the score with two further strikes, the second from 40-metres, Blackheath were well set with a 23-8 lead.

Hardly outside Loughborough territory for the entire second period, the visitors looked to add to their tally, but the conditions continued to frustrate, and it was the hosts who, from nowhere, produced the final score.

Despite being reduced in number once again with second-row Adam Peters temporarily removed for foul play, the Students managed to get quick, clean ball away from a defensive scrum being propelled backwards, and as George de Cothi found room to sprint down the short side, the scrum-half found replacement back James Thomas to complete a fine move.

Blackheath remain second in National League One and after a break next weekend face leaders Hartpury College at Rectory Field on Saturday 7th November. Kick-off is 3.00 pm.

Loughborough Students

Tries: Boyce, James
Conv: Edwards
Pens: James


Tries: Penalty try, Allen
Conv: Gabbitass 2
Pens: Gabbitass 3


Blackheath Team

15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Simon Whatling
11 Tom Chapman
10 Freddie Gabbitass
9 Tom Trotter

1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Terry Read
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Tom Stradwick
6 Tom Ellis
7 Dave Allen
8 Chris Sewell

16 George Edgson (Wright)
17 Bertie Haskins (Croall)
18 Will MacAuley (Ellis)
19 Jack Walsh (Trotter)
20 Richard Windsor (Mvelase)

Graham Cox

One Comment

  • Willie stevens says:

    Very good to find the Club.. I was a player in the 1960s. Delighted with the results thus far. Wonder why we lost to Blaydon. Best wishes for the remainder of the season. Willie Stevens

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