Rugby: Club fend off Cambridge fightback – but Dons suffer yet another defeat

Blackheath are fifth in National League Division One as they fended off a Cambridge fightback to earn only their second victory in nine visits to Volac Park, writes Graham Cox.

Club had a healthy lead but that came under threat as numerous penalties handed territory and possession to the opposition.

But Blackheath went on to add 10 points to finish with a 27-16 victory.

Club could have put more daylight between the two sides in the first period. Joe Tarrant and Jack Green had exchanged early penalties and the visitors crossed the goal-line on four occasions, but Cambridge bodies got underneath Markus Burcham as he completed a delightful move on 18 minutes, and a score later in the period was cancelled out for foul play.

Tom Stradwick’s line-out steal in the 23rd minute launched the move that saw Tom Baldwin put Hugh McCormick-Houston legally across after Jake Lloyd and Geoff Griffiths had made ground down the left flank.


Despite the loss of open-side Louis Rawlings for upending Leo Fielding, Cambridge’s opposite flanker Jake McLoud was waved through from his own half of the field with ease in response, but Blackheath’s efficient ball retention and off-loading worked Baldwin over for a further try and a 17-8 lead at the break.

Tom Baldwin – Cambridge v Blackheath at Volac Park (Cambridge, UK) on the 2nd December 2017 London, United Kingdom. Pic by Helen Watson

Five penalties gave Cambridge the initiative but, although Baldwin was lost for 10 minutes, the hosts could only muster three points from their pressure.

Tarrant’s second penalty pushed the visitors’ advantage back to nine points, and as Harry Fry consistently hit his line-out targets, and Blackheath held the upper hand at the scrum, Harry Bate opened up the Cambridge defence for Josh Davies to score and put the result beyond doubt.

Club return to home soil on Saturday for their first ever league encounter with Caldy.  Kick off at Well Hall is 3pm.

Wimbledon face the prospect of being cast even further adrift at the bottom of National League Division Two South as they host Broadstreet on Saturday.

The Dons already trail this weekend’s opponents by six points and lost 46-15 at Tonbridge Juddian on Saturday.

Wimbledon were already 8-0 down when they first got possession after 15 minutes.

Despite the absence of injured tighthead Josh Bayford, Dons produced a fine scrum, as they have all season. Kane Alboni picked up, ran the blind side and scored. Will Taylor’s well-struck conversion attempt hit the upright.

Wimbledon trailed 22-5 at half-time.

Two quickfire tries put the contest beyond Wimbledon.

Scrum-half Rhys Morgan scored a third try for the South Londoners.

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