9:18am Monday 7th April 2014
By Graham Cox
Blackheath 27 Old Albanian 10
A three try burst in six minutes prior to the interval effectively sealed the outcome of this contest, and at the same time guaranteed Blackheath National League One rugby for another term.
Despite dominating territory during the opening half-hour, Old Albanian’s found themselves unable to break down a resolute defence, the only points coming from a solitary Simon Whatling penalty for the hosts, but as the break approached, the shackles were broken.
On 32 minutes, Whatling (who alongside Jack Walsh, returned from England Sevens duty in the Far East, controlled the game well at half-back) found a beauty of a kick to touch, and as the Club’s line-out, faultless throughout, secured possession, Markus Burcham broke the OA’s defence before off-loading to centre partner Richard Windsor for the opening try.
From the re-start, a break from Jesse Liston and Walsh took play to the OA’s goal-line, before the Club pack arrived and number-eight James Catt squirmed across for the second try, and as the Hertfordshire side attempted to respond quickly, Liston intercepted, the blind-side racing 40-metres to score, followed by Whatling’s second conversion putting Blackheath 22-0 ahead.
The visitors finally got underway shortly after the break with a penalty from full-back Richard Gregg, but it took them until the 78th minute to cross the try-line, flanker Matt Chambers scoring with his side, ironically, down to 13-men, but the last word fell to the hosts as Walsh put Seb Nagle-Taylor, in only his second appearance in the Club back-row, across for the bonus point try.
Blackheath’s final away game takes them to Wharfedale next Saturday before they return to Rectory Field for their last game of the season against league-leaders Doncaster on 26th April.
Tries: Windsor, Catt, Liston, Nagle-Taylor
Conv: Whatling 2
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