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Club mauled by efficient Tigers
Sedgley Park 40 v Blackheath 22.
‘We were as bad with the ball as we were without it,’ was Forwards’ Coach Bobby Howe’s honest assessment as he watched his side crash only to their second defeat of the season, and a first in three visits to Park Lane.
In what was undoubtedly their worst performance this year, Blackheath found themselves a shadow of the team that performed so sublimely against Blaydon a week earlier, only the scoring of two late consolation tries adding a touch of respectability to an emphatic scoreline.
In fact the tone of the game was set while many of the Sedgley Park faithful were still finding their seats in the stand. The Club lost possession going forward and, as their defensive line fell awry, the Tigers were able break tackles for Steve Collins to cross, the fly-half converting his own score.
Almost immediately, Richard Windsor cut into the Tigers’ twenty-two and Mike Canty’s inside pass found hooker Gavin O’Meara to reach out across the try-line for parity, and for a while Blackheath held the ascendancy as they camped in opposition territory.
However, chances came and went, and when ball fell loose from a ruck on 18 minutes, Tigers’ wing Michael Dutton found an open channel down the left touch-line for a 70 metre sprint to the goal-line.
A Rory Teague penalty quickly reduced the deficit, but Collins responded with a strike to restore the seven-point margin, and as the hosts’ confidence grew, and the visitors continued to commit errors, the Lancashire side exploited a shaky defence to send full-back Andrew Riley and right-wing Philip Largen across for 29-10 half-time lead.
A fortnight ago Blackheath had recovered from a similar deficit to end convincing winners at Old Albanian. But Sedgley Park, led by their experienced tight-head Nick Flynn, are a far more streetwise outfit and the Club were to be denied any prospect of a comeback.
Instead, Dutton added his second try, as Blackheath lost possession trying to counter from close to their own goal-line, and with Collins slotting two further penalties, the game moved out of sight.
The visitors raised their game just enough to send Canty and Geoff Griffiths over for tries in the final minutes but it mattered little, as Blackheath ended a game without even a bonus point for the first time in 2012.
Blackheath will now look to bounce back quickly as next week they entertain SSE National League One leaders Ealing Trailfinders to Rectory Field.
Blackheath against Ealing Trailfinders is a 3.00 pm kick-off on Saturday 13th October at Rectory Field in Charlton Road, admission is £12 (accompanied U16s free of charge).
Tries: Collins, Dutton 2, Riley, Largen.
Conv: Collins 3.
Pens: Collins 3.
Tries: O’Meara, Canty, Griffiths.
Conv: Teague 2.