Blackheath claim fifth bonus point win of season in 36-12 home win over Sevenoaks


A sometimes devastating first period, followed by a largely forgettable second, was enough to earn another bonus point win for Blackheath, the Club’s fifth of 2023, to extend their lead at the head of National League Two East.

Blackheath’s intensity in the opening 40 minutes was too much for a Sevenoaks side lurking close to the other end of the table. The Club’s speed at the breakdown persistently got them over the gain-line, all built on a foundation of dominance at the set-piece, particularly the lineout.

It was an overthrown lineout from the visitors that led to the first try on only four minutes, as Ollie Walliker latched on to the loose ball, Tom Baldwin drove into the heart of the defence, and some fine handling saw Alex Harris across out wide.

The pressure was maintained, forcing handling errors from Sevenoaks, and soon the hosts were going through the phases close to the opposition goal-line, before James Catt touched down.

Sevenoaks responded impressively, turning defence into attack, as a thumping tackle from skipper and centre Nigel Gumbleton turned over possession, the ball quickly found its way to Olly Rosillo, the full-back outstripping the cover and racing 50-metres to reduce the deficit to 12-5.

However, an attack down the right flank saw Olly Burgess, a late replacement at fly-half for Chris Bell, pass inside to send Baldwin over for the hosts, and as half-time approached, and Sevenoaks spilt possession, Jake Lloyd chipped the defence, Markus Burcham, as ever, demonstrated some powerful running, before offloading to Andy Denham to cross, giving Blackheath a 26-5 lead at the interval.

In contrast, the second half was a disappointment, aside for one moment.

In the 64th minute, Jake Hennessey decided to spurn support to his left, choosing instead to cut a delightful mazy line through the Sevenoaks defence for Blackheath’s fifth try, but the concession of 14 penalties, and two yellow cards, denied the Club the territory they had enjoyed earlier.

Sevenoaks eventually took advantage of Blackheath’s indiscipline, and an extra man, by finding space down the left-wing, and sending open-side Alexi Hickin across out wide, fly-half Jack Martin adding a decent conversion.

Doubtless wanting to avoid further infringement by his side, Hennessey slotted a late kick at goal for a relatively rare Sevenoaks transgression, completing a 16-point haul for the Club’s outside-centre and closing out the game.

Blackheath fly out to Guernsey on Saturday for their first-ever visit to Footes Lane (3pm).


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