Rugby: Blackheath suffer first away defeat of the season in National League One


There was disappointment and frustration for Blackheath as they suffered a second defeat in their National League One campaign, and their first away from home.

Sale FC were delighted as, after four straight defeats, they finally came out on the right side of a narrow 19-14 scoreline.

The Cheshire hosts produced a ragged first period but mastered the conditions better to finish the stronger.

As the persistent and, sometimes, heavy rain fell on Heywood Road, it was the hosts who got on the front foot first. Tom Ffitch was binned for a deliberate knock-on and Sale used the extra man to create space wide on the left for wing Tom Walsh to go over for the opening score.

Returned to full strength, however, Blackheath began to exert the pressure, forcing numerous penalties from the hosts. Ffitch converted two and sandwiched a 45-metre strike from Matt Dalrymple for the Club to lead 9-5 at the break.

Mistakes at the restart put Blackheath straight back on the offensive but neither a five-metre lineout or scrum, nor a Jake Lloyd interception, accrued points.

Instead, it was a close-range lineout for Sale on 58 minutes which yielded the next score, prop Ricky Stout driving across after a couple of phases, and fly-half James Robins adding the conversion to put the Cheshire club 12-9 ahead.
Blackheath struck back quickly.

Ffitch brilliantly collected his own high ball, and although the move began to falter, Jake Hennessey mopped up, the wing switched play from left to right and the Club found the penetration as Leo Fielding stormed across.

However, Sale had tidied up their earlier indiscipline, and their improved control of the game saw full-back Tom Brady squirm through the cover to release right-wing Nev Edwards for a converted score, a late Blackheath onslaught failing to reap any dividend for the visitors.

Blackheath return to The Utilita to face Cinderford on Saturday.

Kick-off is at the earlier time of 2.30pm due to the England v Samoa World cup match at 4.45pm.


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