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Win number ten lifts Club to third
Birmingham & Solihull 27 v Blackheath 38.
A scrappy and untidy affair at Damson Park, but Blackheath’s current form saw them through to what, in the end, was a comfortable tenth successive bonus point victory against already-relegated Birmingham & Solihull and one which lifts the Club to third position in SSE National League One.
The visitors took charge as early as the fourth minute when full-back Mike Canty caught a high-ball on his own twenty-two and scythed through a static Birmingham defence for the opening try.
Gavin O’Meara’s faultless line-out throwing set the platform for Dave Bonner to crash over for the outside-centre’s first try for the Club and a 14-3 lead but, having already slotted a long-range penalty, Bees’ fly-half Mark Woodrow chipped ahead beautifully for full-back Simon Hunt to collect and reduce the arrears to four points in the 34th minute.
Nevertheless, Blackheath continued to be positive, spurning kickable penalties in favour of field position, and as the hosts lost a second player to the sin-bin the Club pack forced the penalty try that gave them a 21-10 interval lead.
In his first start for the Club at inside-centre Markus Burcham mopped up a loose pass to stroll over unopposed after the break, and flanker Dave Allen was driven across for his 25th try of the season, extending the advantage to 23-points, but now it was Blackheath’s turn to lose their discipline.
As two players were rapidly despatched to the sin-bin, Rob Connolly picked and drove his way across the Club goal-line on 67 minutes before the Bees’ number-eight added a second as Birmingham ran the ball back from the re-start. But moments after, and restored to full strength, Blackheath simply upped the gears to send wing James Stephenson across in the left corner, and although replacement fly-half Dan Hawkes scored from a charged-down kick at the very death, the Club’s dominance was never seriously challenged.
Next Saturday Blackheath will look to secure third-place as they host Rosslyn Park in their final SSE National League One match of the season.
The match is a 3.00 pm kick-off at Rectory Field on Saturday 28th April and will be the Club’s Ladies’ Day in aid of Breast Cancer Care (http://www.blackheathladiesday.com). Birmingham & Solihull Tries: Hunt, Connolly 2, Hawkes Conv: Woodrow 2 Pens: Woodrow.
Blackheath Tries: Canty, Bonner, Penalty try, Burcham, Allen, Stephenson Conv: Windsor 4.