Blackheath outgunned by Barnes as they suffer National League Two East reverse


Perhaps there was a touch of inevitability about Blackheath’s 21-10 defeat at Barnes on Saturday, a week after Club had clinched the National League Two East title.

Blackheath were out-thought and outgunned as they were dumped back down to earth in an untidy mess on this grey, breezy afternoon at Queen Elizabeth Walk.

Barnes, on the other hand, were outstanding as they continued the form that had seen them move up to second place, winning nine from 11 of their matches since their 36-5 loss to Club at Well Hall.

On that occasion in December, the Surrey side had their lineout completely dismantled. But on home soil they responded by taking apart the Blackheath scrum so completely that they were always on the back foot.

Two early scrum penalties set the tone. Despite being sent backwards at every set-piece, the visitors still managed a territorial advantage in the opening period.

Nevertheless three lineout opportunities went astray while Barnes’ rare visits to opposition terrain resulted in two Simon Keller penalties, sandwiching one from Oli Burgess, to leave the score at 6-3 to the hosts at the break.

The Barnes fly-half missed his second-half kicks at goal in the intensifying breeze, but it mattered not as his forwards – marshalled by their excellent skipper and former Club man Josh Davies – completed the job.

Three times the Barnes pack drove forward from close-range set-scrums, and three times number-eight Ryan Nixon touched down at the base for an impressive hat-trick.

Blackheath suddenly injected some pace and energy late in the contest for Chris Bell to crash across for a converted score. But any thoughts of a resurgence were quickly snuffed out as the game finished in disarray, with two Blackheath front-row in the sin-bin, and the visitors fortunate not to concede a fourth try.

Not the send off Blackheath had hoped to give Freddie Owen as he pulled on a Club jersey for the 158th and final time. Owen, who made his debut eight years ago at the age of 19, and has been a fixture of the Club back-row ever since, now leaves for Australia.

In time he will no doubt dwell on his 157th appearance and the try he scored to help Blackheath to their record away win at Westcliff that also sealed promotion.

This, though, was Barnes’ day, and one for Blackheath to forget.

Blackheath take an Easter break before returning for their final home game of the campaign against third-placed Worthing, where they will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record.

Kick-off at Well Hall on April 15 is at 3pm.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by 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:


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.