The Big Match: Blackheath v Ampthill & District

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It’s eyes down for the National One match of the day tomorrow as Blackheath welcome a very formidable looking Ampthill (4th) side to well Hall.

Blackheath’s guests seem to be in the middle of a purple patch.  Their guests thumped Plymouth Albion last weekend with a second half performance which Coach Paul Turner described as some of the best football of the season.  Thy have won four of their last five and the only hiccup was a loss to Esher in which they still scored 48 points.

The League

National One as at Friday 18 January 2019

Psn Club Pld W D L F A PD TBP LBP Points
1 Blackheath 18 13 1 4 440 347 93 7 2 63  
2 Old Elthamians 18 12 2 4 476 367 109 8 2 62  
3 Rosslyn Park 18 12 1 5 488 412 76 10 2 62  
4 Ampthill & District 18 11 1 6 523 361 162 11 5 62  
5 Rotherham 18 12 0 6 452 388 64 7 2 57  
6 Chinnor 18 10 2 6 470 454 16 9 4 57  
7 Cinderford 18 8 1 9 381 416 -35 6 4 44  
8 Darlington Mowden Park 18 8 0 10 417 456 -39 8 4 44  
9 Cambridge 18 8 1 9 366 365 1 3 6 43  
10 Plymouth Albion 18 8 0 10 366 406 -40 6 5 43  
11 Caldy 18 8 0 10 392 452 -60 6 5 43  
12 Sale FC 18 7 1 10 467 520 -53 6 4 40  
13 Birmingham Moseley 18 6 0 12 479 529 -50 7 7 38  
14 Esher 18 7 0 11 392 487 -95 4 5 37  
15 Bishops Stortford 18 5 0 13 384 367 17 5 7 32  
16 Loughborough Students 18 4 0 14 476 642 -166 10 5 31  

Past Meetings and Recent Results

This is the fourth season that these two have met.  Blackheath edge the series 4 wins to 3, with 2 home and 2 away victories.  Having said that, the last 2 have both gone Amps’ way.  Our guests followed up a 21 (2) – 14 (1) home win in January last year with a more convincing 33 (5) -22 (3) at the end of September.  The last meeting at Well Hall was in September 2017, one which the home side edged 16 (2) – 15 (2).

As for recent form, if there is one thing Amps have done, it is score points.  They’ve knocked up 135 points in their last 3 games.  The mathematically gifted will already have realised that averages out at 45/game, so the league’s most parsimonious defence has a job ahead of it tomorrow.

In their immediately pre-Christmas match, they took a home victory 38 (5) – 27 (4) against Chinnor.  Their first match after Christmas was a topsy-turvy affair away at Esher where, despite a very strong come back, they fell agonisingly short, going down 49 (7) – 48 (8) to the Surrey side.

Finally, and most recently, the hammered Plymouth Albion 48 (7) – 15 (2) at Dillingham Park last weekend.  

Match Day Details

Kick off at Well Hall is at 3pm.  The man in the middle is Alexander Thomas, ably assisted round the edges by Michael Woods and David Parsons.  

As for Mother Nature, the colder weather of the last couple of days is set to continue over the weekend.  There may be some early drizzle but that will clear away in the morning leaving an overcast day with temperatures around 4 or 5 degrees.  There will be a gentle 9mph south-easterly breeze.    

Team News

Blackheath First XV V Ampthill  HOME 19 January 2019

15.       Joe TARRANT

14.       Jake LLOYD

13.       Alex PICKERSGILL

12.       Markus BURCHAM (Capt)

11.       Craig DOWSETT

10.       Mark COOKE

9.         Stef LIEBENBERG

1.         Tom WILLIAMS

2.         Mike PERKS

3.         Danny HERRIOTT

4.         Tom STRADWICK

5.         Josh PETERS

6.         Anders NILSSON

7.         Freddie OWEN

8.         James CATT

16.       George DAVIS

17.       Matt BEESLEY

18.       Andrew DAISH

19.       Jack DALY

20.       Elliott CLEMENTS-HILL

   

Around the Grounds

Elsewhere, local boys Old Elthamians (2nd) held off a dramatic fight back and fortunately (for them) a last second disallowed try from dangerous Rosslyn Park, to beat the southwest London side 28 – 22 last week, knocking them off the top of the table in the process.  This time, they travel cross-country to the Billesley Common home of Moseley (13th), whose bonus point loss away at Rotherham last Saturday was enough to lift them narrowly out of the relegation zone.

Rosslyn Park (3rd) are back at home this time out, probably starting as favourites as they roll out the red carpet for Blackheath’s opponents of last weekend, Darlington Mowden Park (8th).  Rotherham (5th), have the 50-odd mile journey across the Pennines to visit Sale FC (12th).  The South Yorkshire side will fancy their chances over the Cheshire team who are starting to flirt with the drop zone after a 29 – 15 loss at Bishop’s Stortford. 

They’re all at 6s and 7s in Oxfordshire, where Chinnor (6th) look for a third win on the trot as they welcome Cinderford (7th) to Kingsey Road.  The Forest of Dean side were victors in the highest scoring game of last week, beating Loughborough Students 45 – 36 at Dockham Road, although their hosts are likely to be a different prospect.  Another two sides neck and neck in the table are Cambridge (9th) who travel 270 miles to Plymouth Albion (10th).  Cambs are on a high following a 28 – 20 bonus point win over Esher, whilst Plymouth will be glad they are back on home turf after that 48 – 15 hammering away at Ampthill.

Speaking of Esher (14th), they will hope that their guests Caldy’s (11th) poor run of form continues.  The Wirral side are looking for their first win in 5, following a narrow 17 – 20 home reverse at the hands of Chinnor. 

Last up is the bottom of the table clash between Loughborough Students (16th) and Bishop’s Stortford (15th).  Stortford won the first leg of that tie 57 – 25 back in September, but the Students are at home this time and have put in some much improved performances since those early days of the season.  Neither side will climb out of the bottom three if they win, but it will leave them in touch with the pack.

Good luck Blackheath and Come On Youuuu Cluuuuuub!

Tim Brindle

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