After two weeks of training following the Old Elthamians waterfall match, Blackheath U12s headed to Dulwich on a soggy Sunday morning to face Old Alleynians. Our final opposition in the first round of the Waterfall tournament.
Click here to view the match trylights.
Blackheath kicked off proceedings and were met by a strong start from OA’s. The club stood firm and with strength in the ruck (which they showed throughout) secured the turnover but a knock-on lead to an early OA’s scrum.Following the scrum won by Blackheath, O’Sullivan made a piercing run towards OA territory and a powerful maul, the first of its kind for the Club, later to be called a secret weapon at U12s level, lead to an offload to Simpson who then released to Woodside on the wing. OA’s stopped the advance and drove the club back into their own half. Ravenscroft not only kicked it clear, but chased it down making a decisive tackle. The club won in the ruck and the ball was moved at pace from Gowing to Jennings with swift offload to Benns who unfortunately couldn’t hold on. With the OA’s scrum five yards out their efforts to kick were charged down by Gowing and recovered by Simpson who dived across the line for the opening try of the game.
OA’s responded well after receiving the kick off, forcing the club to make some strong tackles through centre field to collect the loose ball. O’Sullivan made another aggressive run, supported by Ravenscroft, before handing off to Kaminskas who bundled towards the try line before the ball was turned over. A strong OA’s kick sent the ball bounding down field, which the club struggled to secure a slippery ball. OA’s took the opportunity and secured the try.
The club elected to receive at the restart but the kick was driven through the dead ball line. Blackheath scrum. The club moved the ball across the field with a great run from Jennings before offloading to Fitzsimmons forcing OA’s back into their own half. A well recycled ball back the other way saw Woodside making a decisive run on the wing braking tackles and over the try line.
OA’s received the restart and were pinned back by the clubs defensive line. Blackheath forced a loose ball which was recovered by Benns. Bloomer then released O’Sullivan who powered through the OA’s defence and across the line for the clubs third.
OA’s refused to backdown, and a well received kick led to an aggressive period of play from the Dulwich side who were moving the ball well and pushing the club back into their own half. The OA’s wings nudged Blackheath back, but strong defensive play from the club again led to a loose ball which was collected by Bloomer who powered back into the OA’s half. Ravenscroft and Jennings connected well but unfortunately a forward pass to Woodside who was screaming up the wing resulted in a OA’s scrum. Blackheath won the scrum, Fitzsimmons drove forward but OA’s held their line forcing Blackheath to spread the ball wide with Ravenscroft being held up at the line. Kaminskas then made a powerful run at the line forcing OA’s to commit numbers with a strong ruck from Langen Heath. Gowing then spotted an opportunity allowing Ravenscroft to dive across the line in space.
Undeterred, OA’s received the ball well and pounded the Blackheath defensive line making the most of a penalty advantage and pushing the club onto the back foot. Blackheath then brought on some fresh legs to fight the OA surging attack as the club were then penned back into their own half. The club stood strong and a rip from Simpson provided some defensive rest bite. The ball was then moved across field and out to the wing but Benns was stopped just inside OA territory as he was forced to cut inside. Club continued to march forward with decisive runs by Verrillo and Reilly but the OA’s defense held firm for the remainder of the half.
Blackheath kicked off the second half and drove OA’s back deep. A Club penalty, just short of the OA try line led to a Blackheath scrum and the quick thinking of Murray Jones released Benns on the short side who darted over the line to open the clubs scoring for the second half.
OA’s received once more and drove up field moving the ball well and forcing a key stop from Morrison who forced the knock on. Each team going blow for blow with strength in both offense and defense, with the club just getting the upper hand with powerful runs by its forwards breaking the OA line and leading to Marnham bounding over the try line.
OA’s continued to drive forward with purpose after the kick off, testing Blackheath’s grit with every phase. Blackheath’s strength in the ruck saw the ball back in the clubs hand. Marnham steamed down the field following the counter ruck but was stopped just short. Then quick hands from Murray Jones saw Williams in support go straight over the line for his first try of the game.
OA’s elected to kick, and Fitzsimmons collected but the club were met with a sea of OA forwards. The OA pressure then forced the clubs into an error which saw a great OA’s scrum ten yards from the clubs try line. The OA wing shot down the short side forcing Murray Jones to make the stop and allowing O’Sullivan to steal. Reilly kicked it clear to give the club some room to breathe.
Club went on to collect the ball and drive on the counter attack with a series of passes that saw Verrillo fly down the wing before being tackled into touch. Following the scrum, OA’s kick found the hands of Reilly whose quick feet created space for Bloomer who sent the defender with a fantastic dummy and over he went for the try.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Blackheath continued to apply pressure and a forceful tackle from Williams caused an OA knock-on and Blackheath scrum. Again, club drove towards the short side with Ravenscroft being held up at the line but the club rallied and the ball finds Kaminskas who was able to get across the line.
Club go again, with a great kick from Gowing to restart that lead to Blackheath regaining possession. The fluidity of the passing stretches the OA defence and OA’s concede a penalty for a high tackle which was taken quickly five yards out and Woodside took a great line and across for his second.
OA’s elected to kick in the final five minutes, this was collected by Jennings who offloaded to Ravenscroft who ploughed downfield before being met by the OA defensive line. A strong maul from the club and the ball found Austin Thilagarajah spreading the play out to the wings. Club drove down field but the OA’s defence forced a Blackheath knock-on. A barrage of piercing runs followed the OA’s scrum pushing the club back before being forced into touch by Benns. Taken quickly by the club, the team moved the ball with pace as they charged back downfield with Fitzsimmons offloading to Woodside for the clubs final try of the game.
A fantastic come back following defeat in their previous game and, although some players were mentioned by name, it was very much a superb team effort from start to finish.
We finish 2023 with a Christmas trip down to face Canterbury on 17th December.
Old Alleynians U12s 5-55 Blackheath Rugby U12s