Club coach not happy despite victory over Caldy

Mike Perks

Blackheath scored all four of their tries in the opening 26 minutes as they earned a 29-17 home win over Caldy on Saturday in National League One, writes Graham Cox.

But Club coach James Shanahan was still not happy despite three wins in the space of eight days. He had overseen last week’s win at Cambridge followed by leading Cambridge University to success in the Varsity Match last Thursday.

“Fantastic to go 26-3 up in less than half an hour – frustration thereafter,” he said.

“You can’t get more than five points, but it would be nice for us to play for 80 minutes, something we’re just not doing at the moment.”

Mike Perks was first to cross the try-line, the Club hooker showing a burst of pace after Josh Davies’ quickly-taken tap penalty on three minutes.

Caldy full-back Gavin Roberts responded with three points for the visitors straight after, but Leo Fielding’s break down the left flank following scrum ball on the halfway line saw Davies injecting speed, as the scrum-half cut inside to cross for a second score.

Markus Burcham ripped opposition possession continuously as Caldy conceded numerous turnovers in midfield. With Fielding and Jake Lloyd making ground, this time on the right wing, Danny Herriott drove over from close range.

Tom Stradwick collected Perks’ line-out ball before the second-row himself dived over on the blind-side for the bonus point score, Joe Tarrant’s third conversion giving Blackheath a 26-3 advantage.

It signalled the end of the hosts’ superiority.

A break from Caldy second-row Tom Sanders was halted illegally just short of the goal-line, and as Blackheath lost Tarrant for 10 minutes, the visitors might have considered themselves unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try as the Club infringed twice at the set-scrum before ball was again turned-over.

The momentum remained with Caldy during the third quarter – even though Geoff Griffiths was bundled into touch just short on 48 minutes) – though ironically it was only as Blackheath launched a move from their own half that the visitors scored, right-wing Nick Royle intercepting and racing home from 60-metres on the hour.

Replacement back-row Stuart Cross drove over from a tap-penalty for a second converted try on 76 minutes.

Blackheath finished the game with 13 men, a late penalty from Sam Evans ensured no opportunity for any further drama.

The victory moves Blackheath up to third in the table.

Club make the short journey to near-rivals Old Elthamian on Saturday (2pm).

Winless Wimbledon went down to a 30-24 home defeat to Broadstreet on Saturday to remain rooted to the foot of National League 2 South.

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