BY GRAHAM COX
The result may not have been what Blackheath wanted, but the sun shone, and both clubs were playing a full 15 a-side game for the first time in 17 months.
For the record, Rosslyn Park outscored the visitors five tries to three, their greater speed and fluidity at the breakdown creating the space and numbers out wide for four of their efforts.
Nevertheless, with only three of the 23-man squad for this contest having taken the field in the Club’s last outing at Hull Ionians on March 14 2020, and only eight having ever worn Blackheath colours at any time in the past, the visitors can take a lot of satisfaction from this outing, particularly at the set-piece where they held the edge.
There was some neat interplay out wide too, notably in the third minute when inside ball sent Jake Lloyd across for the opening score.
Two tries prior to the interval, and a third, eight minutes into the second period, put Park firmly ahead on the scoreboard, but fine control from Harry Dugmore at the base of a five-metre scrum saw the Club, and former Ealing, number-eight barge over to reduce the deficit to three points on 63 minutes.
However, an overlap on each flank saw two tries for Park to put the result beyond doubt, before Fergus Jemphrey replied for Blackheath, the Cambridge University wing, who scored twice for the Light Blues in their 2019 Varsity success, nearly adding a second from Freddie Gabbitass’ cross-field kick at the death.
Blackheath travel to Esher on Saturday, before completing their pre-season programme with a home match at Well Hall against Chinnor under lights on the evening of Friday August 27.
PICTURE: CLAIRE JEFFREY
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