BY GRAHAM COX
Blackheath bounced back from successive defeats in National League 1 as they collected a 21-17 win over Richmond on Saturday.
These two clubs played out a 0-0 draw in the first ever game of rugby union back in 1864 and went into this match evenly placed.
They produced another tight contest, Blackheath hung on for victory after Richmond scored a 75th-minute try to bring them within range.
“It was a strange game,” said Blackheath boss James Shanahan. “We controlled the first 15 minutes without many points, but then Richmond dominated for large periods.’
“We started well in the second period and might have kicked on but then spent 20 minutes defending, until we turned over ball and went the length of the field to give us some breathing space.’
“Defensively we were outstanding. Our determination and energy levels were brilliant. We just need a little more in attack, as another try when we were on top would have given us a more convincing win.
“However after two defeats on the road, I’ll take four points against Richmond.”
It was Blackheath who started the better.
Markus Burcham, making his 250th appearance in a Club jersey, dummied through midfield and Leo Fielding, celebrating exactly 150 fewer games, sent Tom Baldwin to the goal-line, and recycled ball saw Alex Noot cross out wide on his home debut.
Richmond began to assert themselves, and although seeing ball held up, and knocking-on at close range, loose ball hacked forward was seized upon by Sean Kerr, the centre converting from out wide.
Twice Blackheath had possession turned over as they pressed off lineout ball but it was Richmond, with Luc Jones marshalling their game from scrum-half, who edged the first period as Kerr struck a penalty for 10-7 interval lead.
An interception from Noot put the hosts back on the front foot after the restart, the visitors conceding a penalty and a yellow card for killing the play.
Ollie Walliker burrowed over from the resultant lineout to retake the advantage. Matt Dalrymple added a second fine strike from out wide but despite being depleted in number, it was Richmond who now dominated territory and built pressure.
However, close to the hour, loose ball was snapped up close to the Club goal-line and as Fielding broke at pace into Richmond territory, the wing found Jake Hennessey up in support to finish. Mark Cooke struck the conversion.
Richmond eventually got their try, as Ethan Benson drove across after a penalty went to touch, but Blackheath saw out the remaining five minutes without alarm.
Blackheath are fifth in the table.
They are back on the road again as they head to Birmingham Moseley tomorrow.
Wimbledon suffered a fifth straight loss in National League 2 East as they went down 27-19 at home to Sevenoaks last weekend.
The Dons have not won since September 23 and are third from bottom of the table.
Tomorrow they are at sixth-placed Tonbridge Juddians.
Wimbledon’s try scorers were Macauley Casey, Paul Hendry and Lewis Bloor. Edward Morgan kicked two conversions.
Despite Wimbledon being able to name an unchanged side for the first time this season they could not find a way past well-coached defenders and were caught napping by speedy hard-running attackers.
PICTURES: ANDY WANSBURY
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ