Blackheath lineout finally clicks to help deliver 43-13 win over Darlington Mowden Park

With both teams entering this contest on two wins from three outings at the outset of their National League One campaigns it was, perhaps, no surprise that the game sat on a knife-edge for an hour, with never more than five points separating the sides.

Eventually Blackheath’s lineout, which had faltered early on, came together to complement a dominant scrum, and some outstanding out-of-hand kicking from debutant fly-half Matt Dalrymple, and the Club stormed away with four converted tries in the final quarter to seal victory.

The first period was very different with the lead changing hands on four occasions.

An early lineout success saw Stevie Clark-Leonard make the inroads into the Mowden Park defences, before Leo Fielding came off his left wing to weave across out wide on the right on eight minutes.

However, as the Club attacked through the midfield, ball was lost forward, and a neat backhanded pass from DMP second-row Joe Craggs sent wing Henry Hadfield sprinting half the length of the field to score. Josh Ree added the conversion and a penalty for a 10-5 lead for the visitors.

Stevie Clark-Leonard

Blackheath were back in front on 23 minutes, as Dalrymple put his side within five-metres following a scrum penalty. James Catt, postponing his retirement, burrowed across after a couple of phases for a converted try, and with the two fly-halves exchanging further strikes at goal, the hosts led 15-13 at the break.

Blackheath’s lineout ball was mostly either messy or found DMP hands and kept the score tight until the 59th minute when the Club pack dismantled the DMP eight once again, and the other set-piece began to purr.

Jake Hennessey

Clark-Leonard crashed across on the hour, and as a throw on the opposite side of the field was collected at second-row by skipper Ed Taylor, ball sped across the park for Dalrymple to find Jake Hennessey coming up at pace from full-back to score in the left corner.

Markus Burcham

Twice the visitors were thwarted by forward passes, while at the other end, Blackheath’s accuracy kept them moving forward. When Matt Armstrong went close, support arrived for Tom Baldwin to drive over.

Finally, Chris Bell looped a pass out wide for Ollie Walliker to trot over, Dalrymple struck a fifth conversion to end with a 13-point personal haul.

Matt Dalrymple

Blackheath make the journey to Cheshire to face Sale FC on Saturday.  Kick-off at Heywood Road is 3pm.

Blackheath’s next home fixture is on October 7 against Cinderford, with an earlier kick-off of 2.30pm.

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