Rosslyn Park 18 Blackheath 31

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Club cruise past misfiring Park

It’s been a habit of Blackheath’s over the last couple seasons to disrupt Rosslyn Park in their quest towards elevation to the Championship, and on this bright warm autumnal afternoon, and on the brand new all-weather playing surface, at The Rock, they managed to put yet another firm dent in the Roehampton side’s serene progress.

Indeed, such was the visitors’ dominance for the vast majority of this contest against the only side to have won all four of their previous matches, and who started the day at the head of National League One, that even the two late tries, that gave the air of respectability to the final scoreline, did little to cheer the hosts.

A barnstorming opening 24 minutes set the tone. Freddie Gabbitass’ penalty attempt after just 25 seconds fell wide, but the Club fly-half hit the target a few minutes later from exactly the same spot as Park infringed at the first set-scrum.

As Blackheath refused to let the opposition settle, harrying them in defence and Gregor Gillanders and Devin Montgomery spoiling their line-out ball, the penalties continued to accrue, field position allowing Dave Allen to move blind off the base of a ruck for the first try before two further Gabbitass strikes for getting on the wrong side and not releasing extended the lead to 14-0.

Gradually, Park began to claw their way up-field, Tom Whelan claiming three points with his first shot at goal, but a promising drive came to nothing as the ball was lost forward and the Surrey side were limited to another penalty from their fly-half, quickly cancelled out by Gabbitass’ fourth strike for a 17-6 advantage in favour of the visitors at the break.

Park started the second period in better fashion but still failed to make inroads. A five-metre scrum, after ball was held up across the goal-line, offered the opportunity for skipper Hugo Ellis to power across for what would have been the number-eight’s seventh try of the campaign, but thanks to some outstanding defence (Tom Baldwin and Markus Burcham in particular) ball was untidy and slow, something which typified the hosts’ afternoon.

Worse was to follow on the hour with the sin-binning of full-back Henry Robinson for a dangerous tackle on Mike Mvelase, and as opposite number Geoff Griffiths fielded possession in midfield, his break saw Jake Lloyd send Mvelase across for the Club’s second try, converted from out wide by Gabbitass.

Five minutes later, and with Park still reduced in number, Lloyd’s interception and 60-metre sprint for the goal-line sparked wild celebrations, and although second-rows Adam Frampton, taking possession after a charge-down, and Richard Boyle, mopping up after a poor pass, dived across in opposite corners for the hosts in the final minutes, the result was already beyond doubt.

The win moves Blackheath up to third position in National League One and next the Club make their first visit to newly-promoted Ampthill, the Bedfordshire side who have started the season well and move up to the top spot in the table vacated by Rosslyn Park.

Kick-off at Dillingham Park is 3.00 pm.

Rosslyn Park

Tries: Shires, Boyle
Conv: Herron
Pens: Whelan 2


Tries: Allen, Mvelase, Lloyd
Conv: Gabbitass 2
Pens: Gabbitass 4


Blackheath Team

15 Geoff Griffiths
14 Mike Mvelase
13 Markus Burcham
12 Simon Whatling
11 Jamke Lloyd
10 Freddie Gabbitass
9 Jack Walsh

1 Aston Croall
2 Scott Wright
3 Terry Read
4 Gregor Gillanders
5 Devin Montgomery
6 Tom Baldwin
7 Dave Allen
8 James Catt

16 George Edgson (Wright)
17 Bertie Haskins – not used
18 Tom Ellis (Catt)
19 Tom Trotter – not used
20 Mark Briant – not used


Graham Cox

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