Rugby union: Blackheath suffered 10th National League One reverse of season – Dons draw with bottom club


Blackheath lost 42-27 at Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday – their 10th reverse in 17 National League One matches.

It was an improved performance from Club and for an hour they were within range of claiming reward for their long trip to County Durham.

But failure to grasp opportunities that might have put them in control of this contest only succeeded in releasing pressure on the opposition, resulting in defeat and an increasingly precarious position in National League One.

“We dominated large periods, but weren’t clinical enough in scoring, while when other teams are having their moments, they’re coming away with points,” said Blackheath director of rugby James Shanahan.

“We probably should have been 10 or more points up at half-time, but instead were playing catch-up.

“I knew DMP would have a strong period in the match, and that came around 65-75 minutes which took the game away.’

Tom Baldwin

“We lost too many lineouts in the red zone, didn’t take our chances in the red zone – while they took all theirs – and consequently we came unstuck.’

“It was better than the last two home games but not good enough- next week is a huge game now at Cinderford.”

Blackheath took an early lead with a successful penalty strike for Matt Dalrymple but the visitors were soon on the back foot. DMP centre Harry Yates crashed through tackles to score under the posts.

Yates was on hand five minutes later, making the inside pass to wing Obi Ene, as DMP cut down the right flank, scrum-half Callum Pascoe added the conversion for a 14-3 lead.

Billy Harding’s burst away from a maul saw Markus Burcham take play towards the left corner, before Jack Daly flung a pass out wide for Alex Noot, coming up from full-back, to score.

Tom Baldwin

With Dalrymple adding a decent conversion, and exchanging penalties with Pascoe, the visitors were within range with the score 17-13 at the break.

Pascoe added another three points to his side’s advantage after the restart, but Blackheath’s best period came in the third quarter.

Despite DMP still successfully disrupting their lineout ball, the Club kept up the pressure in the opposition twenty-two, and as the goal-line was probed, Tom Stradwick drove over for the try which, with Dalrymple’s conversion, levelled the scores with 29 minutes remaining.

A scrum penalty could have given Blackheath the lead but the ball slipped wide.

Pascoe successfully nudged the hosts ahead with three points, and as back-row Yaree Fantini smashed through the midfield, Pascoe’s box-kick was met perfectly by Ene, who had the pace to score.

With the momentum shifted firmly in the north-easterners’ favour, Yates crossed out wide, and then completed his hat-trick with a move off a close-range scrum.

Blackheath rallied in the closing stages to send Matt Armstrong over, but with less than a minute remaining, the visitors could not find that all-important fourth try.

Blackheath’s match against Cinderford, three places below them in the table, at Dockham Road next Saturday is a 2.30pm kick-off.

Wimbledon drew 23-23 against North Walsham in National League Two East.

Devlin Hope scored three tries for the Dons with Edward Morgan adding a conversion and one penalty.

Tom Mitchell also produced a howitzer of a penalty from almost the halfway line.

Dons remain second bottom of the table – only North Walsham below them – and head to fourth-placed Bury St Edmunds tomorrow.


Main Pic: Andrew Boye

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