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Club carnage at Coventry
THIS was a scoreline that makes for grisly reading from a Blackheath perspective, but one which, nevertheless, emphasises the gulf between the two sides in this mismatch of a contest.
True, four of Coventry’s ten tries came during a second period in which Blackheath searched in vain for the score which would salvage a bonus point from a desperate afternoon at the Butts Park Arena, leaving themselves exposed in defence.
But there were times, particularly during the opening half hour, when the final outcome was effectively sealed, when the West Midlanders’ size and power was such that the visitors looked to be playing a side from two leagues higher.
That said, the hosts weren’t infallible and the first two minutes provided Blackheath with what soon turned out be false hope.
Following a charge-down, Simon Whatling ducked and weaved out of defence, beginning a move which went the length of the field and culminated in Mike Canty crossing the try-line on two minutes, but the early score was soon cancelled out and interest added.
First, outside-centre Barry Davies pierced the Club three-quarter line, followed by a try for Cliffie Hodgson from a scrum move, and as Coventry dominated the set-piece, and seemingly produced overlaps at will, the Cov full-back completed a hat-trick, his sequence only spoilt by a score out on the left wing for William Hurrell as the hosts eased to a 32-7 lead.
Blackheath weren’t down and out quite yet and, on 31 minutes, spilt possession in the Coventry twenty-two enabled Tom Stradwick to cross, followed quickly by a third try, Whatling again producing the telling break from which Jesse Liston was able to dive over from a ruck on the goal-line.
But with Matt Tibbatts driven across prior to the interval for the first of two tries for the Cov No 8, taking the score to 39-21, the hosts went into half-time firmly back in the driving seat.
The loss on 54 minutes of Ralph Cooke didn’t help the visitors’ cause either, necessitating a re-organisation of the Club pack, but by that time Coventry had added to their lead as Blackheath were stripped of possession on half-way and replacement three-quarter Ian Clarke raced away to score.
And as little headway was made in opposition territory, Tibbatts added his second in similar fashion to his first, second-row Danny Wright benefitted from a strike against the head, and Clarke popped over once again at the death, consigning Blackheath to their worst defeat for four years.
The Club will search for better fortune next Saturday as they return to Rectory Field for their first ever league meeting will Hull Ionians. Kick-off is at 3.00 pm.
Tries: Davies, Hodgson 3, Hurrall, Tibbatts 2, Clarke 2, Wright
Conv: Hodgson 5
Tries: Canty, Stradwick, Liston
Conv: Marshall 3
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