Rugby union: Club take on table-topping Coventry as Dons secure second league win of the campaign

Neale Patrick, Blackheath - Pic by Helen Watson

Blackheath welcome unbeaten National One leaders Coventry on Saturday (3pm) but did not have the ideal warm-up for that challenge with a 21-14 loss at Ampthill the previous weekend, writes Graham Cox.

Amps’ edge in the scrum and their heavyweight pack proved decisive in a tight encounter.

The hosts’ James Bercis glided through a gap for a 7-0 lead with just five minutes gone.

Blackheath had their moments too at the set-piece, their first points coming from a scrum infringement which saw Joe Tarrant kick an 11th-minute penalty, and the line-out worked faultlessly throughout, providing plenty of useful possession.

Joe Tarrant for Blackheath – Pic by Helen Watson

Ampthill hooker Aleki Lutui drove across for a second converted try and a 14-3 advantage at the break.

Tom Stradwick snagged an Ampthill line-out to keep up pressure, and as he came off his wing to hit scrum ball at pace, Jake Lloyd powered through a tackle to at last break open the hosts’ defence and score in the corner.

Tarrant added his second penalty for a high tackle to reduce the arrears to three points on 57 minutes.

Ampthill retrieved their grip on the contest as second-row Billy Johnson raced across and put daylight between the scores once more.

Although Tarrant struck a third penalty as Lutui was dismissed for not retreating, Blackheath could not make their numerical advantage count in the closing stages.


Wimbledon collected their second victory in National League 2 South as they  defeated Redruth 33-28, writes Tony Mann.

The Dons are still bottom of the table and are at fourth-placed Taunton Titans this weekend.

Wimbledon’s play in the third quarter of Saturday’s match made the difference. Already 21-14 up at the break, lock Alex Campbell broke clear from the restart and the ball passed though many hands to scrum-half Rhys Morgan who scored beneath the posts.

Fly-half James Doe added the two points, as he had with his three long-range first-half conversions. Centre Charlie Esam finished off another free-flowing move to score try number five. Only sterling Redruth defence prevented further Wimbledon scores.

The first period had started very well for the Dons too. After only two minutes hooker Bradley Ugodulunwa gathered a charged-down Redruth clearance kick, bulldozed to within a metre of their goal-line and flanker Niall MacSweeney dived over in the corner.

Keeping possession for the next five minutes Redruth then came back with a try of their own when the pack drove over for prop Loma Kivalu to touch down.  No.10 Richie Kevern put over the first of his four conversions.

Matt Gilbert sped in for try number two. A minute later replacement hooker Ben Brooks added a third from a ruck created from a 5m lineout after Doe’s excellent penalty kick had found its mark.

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