MATCH REPORT: Rosslyn Park vs Blackheath




The 1st XV played out a thrilling draw at The Rock on Saturday as Blackheath rescued a result at the death.

The match began at a frantic pace and the 1st XV opened the scoring within just two minutes. Following an early Arthur Ellis break down the left-hand side, the ball was spread to the opposite touchline where Charlie Walker put in a delicate chip ahead which was gathered in by Tom Stanton for the first try of the day. A chippy period followed, and Blackheath’s Tom Stradwick was joined in the sin bin by Arthur Ellis just three minutes apart. Following the Park yellow card, Tom Ffitch slotted a penalty following the card to get Blackheath on the scoreboard. The 1st XV responded to this through Jordan Martin as the big second row powered his way over the Blackheath line from a pick-and-go at the end of the half.

In the second half it was the visitors this time who got out of the blocks quickly as they ran in 3 tries within 8 minutes early in the second period. First, after being held up over the Park try line, Blackheath set up an attack off the restart that resulted in Leo Fielding dotting down. Then, following a clever 50-22 from Mark Cooke, they touched down again through Billy Harding from the back of a driving maul. Riding the momentum, the East London outfit next headed to the corner from a penalty and crossed over for the third time as Ben Charnock picked-and-went.

Rosslyn Park finally regained a foothold in the contest thanks to a brilliant score from Joe Luca Smith. The fullback was the recipient of a sumptuous offload by Benji Marfo before he turned on the jets to streak past the Blackheath cover. Then, two quick yellow cards to both Blackheath centres allowed Max Craven to add three-points from the tee before Marfo took the lead with a try just minutes later as he gathered in a chip over the Blackheath line.

A dramatic finale saw Blackheath, who were now trailing by seven, win two late penalties which provided the platform for Andrew Denham to power his way over under the posts with the clock in the red.

Referee: Callum Watson


Tries: Stanton (1’), Martin (37’), Smith (57’), Marfo (67’)
Conversions: Craven (37’, 58’, 68’)
Penalties: Craven (65’)
Yellow Cards: Ellis (19’)

Team: Pieterse, Cameron, Hay, Martin, Gillanders, Hosking, Ellis, Bolwell, Fenley, L. Smith, Marfo, Gordon, Stanton, Walker, J. Smith

Replacements: Buckingham, Wade, Cleet, Wrafter, Craven


Tries: Fielding (46’), Harding (49’), Charnock (53’), Denham (80’)
Conversions: Ffitch (47’, 54’, 80’)
Penalties: Ffitch (20’)
Yellow Cards: Stradwick (17’), Cooke (63’), Burcham (65’)

Team: Holland, Harding, Paul, Stradwick, Taylor, Schroter, Denham, Charnock, Daly, Ffitch, Fielding, Cooke, Burcham, Lloyd, Hennessey

Replacements: Wicthell, Owlett, Davis, Daly, Armstrong


Birmingham Moseley 0 – 52 Chinnor
Bishop’s Stortford 22 – 19 Sale FC
Leicester Lions 43 – 10 Darlington Mowden Park
Rams 19 – 13 Richmond
Sedgley Park 47 – 29 Plymouth Albion
Taunton Titans 37 – 31 Cinderford

This week in National One saw Chinnor crowned champions as their 52-point thrashing of Birmingham Moseley put them out of reach of Rams, despite the Reading outfit’s victory against Richmond. Elsewhere, Sedgley Park overcame Plymouth in Manchester securing a third-place finish for the 1st XV this season. Finally, three of the four teams in the relegation dogfight pulled off wins this weekend, with Cinderford the only losers, but it is still mathematically possible for any of the four to survive the drop. Cinderford have the longest odds as they would need a 42-point margin of victory in their final game of the season against Bishop’s Stortford as well as defeats for Leicester and Taunton, but the possibility remains.

The last game for Park this season is a trip down South to take on Plymouth Albion.