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Blackheath Ladies off to flying start
10:11am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
Blackheath Ladies travelled to Old Albanians on Sunday for their first league match of the season.
The side came away with a convincing and hard fought 22-7 victory which leaves them in second place in Championship South East Two.
The visitors were expecting a hard match as Old Albanians look to bounce back from relegation, and the Saints were first to score on a sweltering day in St Albans.
Blackheath missed two crucial tackles after the home side turned over possession in their own 22, and the Saints’ outside-half went over under the posts for a breakaway try after five minutes.
The visitors regrouped from the kick-off and forced Saints to give away a penalty in their own half. Blackheath tapped and went and quick hands saw No. 8 Amy Wigley go over in the corner. Rebecca Carlton converted the try to put Club level.
The score gave Blackheath confidence after a nervy first 20 minutes, and with conditions perfect for running rugby, the side were happy to throw the ball around, making use of their mobile pack and strong back line.
Club crossed the whitewash once more before half-time, with last season’s top try-scorer Elaine Jaxon opening her account and putting Club 12-7 up at the break.
Blackheath went into the second half with the wind behind them and continued to dominate at set-piece, effectively starving the Saints of possession. Carlton kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty after Old Albanians were offside in their 22.
Good use of fresh legs from the bench gave the side more impetus, and replacement (and back of the match) Gemma Jones went over for Blackheath’s third try after a superb kick and chase from Jaxon.
Carlton converted to make the final score 22-7 to Blackheath.
Captain Becky Watling called it "a brilliant start" and commented: "I can’t echo enough that it was a full squad effort and everyone did their bit on and off the pitch."
The ladies welcome Beckenham to Rectory Field next Sunday (September 16) for their first home game of the season.
Based on information supplied by Rhiannon Evans.