Blackheath 59, Blaydon 17

Another disastrous reversal for Blaydon but much of it could have been avoided. They had a decent share of the play in the opening quarter, and then again in the last 20 minutes but at a crucial point in the game lost 3 players to the sin-bin in the space of 5 minutes and never recovered.

Fly-half Brett Connon landed an early penalty when a Blackheath forward came round offside and the lead was held until the 25th minute when Dan George the home hooker went over from close range for the first of his hat-trick of tries.
Another driving maul brought George his second success and Mark Cooke a penalty but close on the interval a Jason Smithson trademark effort, converted by Connon, got Blaydon back into it and the half ended with Blackheath leading 17-10.
George duly secured his third but it was a controversial score in that he appeared not to have actually dived on the ball, and then came the 5 minutes of madness when Chris Wearmouth, for obstruction, and both Mark Thompson and Jack Davidson for pulling down a maul, received their marching orders.
At one point down to 12 players Blaydon had little chance of survival and in rapid time Blackheath skipper Markus Bircham, Freddie Owen, Tom Chapman and Jake Lloyd all crossed the visitors line.
A penalty try followed soon after, converted by Cooke who was 100% on target with all 8 attempts and a penalty and the game was done and dusted at 59-10.
Restored to full advantage however at last Blaydon got their hands on the ball and 8 minutes from the end gained some slight consolation with an excellent score. They moved it smartly through a number of hands and on to James Cooney who cleverly twisted out of a tackle to cross near the posts and Ryan Foreman added the extras.

John Brennan