Blackheath 48 v Cambridge 33.
The final result of this contest was never in much doubt once Blackheath carved out a 24-0 lead on 25 minutes, but financially troubled Cambridge will take much credit for their five tries which kept them nibbling away at the Club’s lead and secured a bonus point.
In the end, though, it was the power of the Blackheath front-row that made the difference, and in particular tight-head Des Brett who was celebrating his 200th appearance in a Club shirt.
As the visitors, under huge pressure up-front, conceded numerous penalties, skipper and second-row Tom Bason was driven over from close-range on twelve minutes, before fly-half Sam Windsor pierced the opposition’s defence, and then open-side Dave Allen was mauled over for try number three.
The visitors’ one excursion into Blackheath territory produced a try for flanker James Mayhew, but a quick tap-penalty from Jack Walsh on half-way ended in the Club scrum-half finishing the move for a 29-7 lead at the interval.
Cambridge number-eight Stephen Hipwell rampaged down the right flank to reduce the arrears after the break, and the impressive three-quarter replacement Elliott Bale created a score for Gareth McComb as well as one for himself.
But the Blackheath scrum, with Brett, James Cleverly and Charlie Woodall (and later Simon Legg and Gavin O’Meara) to the fore, held sway, producing blind-side ball for James Stephenson to cross in the 48th minute, followed by the demolition of the Cambridge pack for two penalty tries, and although Hipwell answered for the visitors at the death, the hosts emerged comfortable winners.
Next Saturday Blackheath make the long journey to Northumberland to take on Tynedale. Kick-off at Tynedale Park is 3.00 pm and supporters unable to travel to the north-east can get live updates on BBC Radio Kent (96.7FM, 104.2FM, DAB).
Blackheath Tries: Bason, Windsor (Sam), Allen, Walsh, Stephenson, Penalty try 2 Conv: Windsor (Sam) 5 Pens: Windsor (Sam).
Cambridge Tries: Mayhew, Hipwell 2, McComb, Bale Conv: White, Bale 3