A Bridge Too Far for the Army
Former Blackheath stalwart Matty Stewart brought his troops to the Rectory Field for this annual encounter between the Army and Blackheath.
In damp conditions Blackheath got the game underway and straight from the kick off Blackheath’s second row Ralph Cooke gathered the ball and made good yardage, I say the Blackheath second row as that is the team he normally plays for, however on this occasion he decided to abandon his team mates and play for the Army a decision he would have been regretting come the final whistle.
Blackheath started well and Ed Doe playing at full back had to deal with a constant aerial bombardment as the Army peppered him with some high up and unders.
Blackheath would record their first points after 12 minutes when from good phase play Jack Walsh found Dave Brown who side stepped the Army number eight as is he were an IED and sprinted 10 meters to touch down, the kick was missed 5-0.
Blackheath would add to this score 3 minutes later when Vaughny added a penalty goal as a result of the Army not releasing. 8-0.
This seemed to trigger the Army into action and they would enjoy good territory and possession and showing plenty of that Dunkirk Spirit would record 4 penalty kicks, 3 prior to half time and one immediately afterwards to take a 12-8 lead thanks to the impressive Army 10’s kicking. His third kick was the pick as it dissected the posts with the precision of an exorcet missile.
Blackheath having repelled this blitz and the heavy artillery the Army had engaged in managed to get a foothold back in the game and would go onto record a further 20 un-answered points.
The Blackheath second try came after 59 minutes from a well executed catch and drive, Nick Porter claiming the try to give Blackheath a slender 13-12 lead.
During the second half there were numerous changes, Joe Bonner was one casualty when he left the field with what looked at first as if he had been caught by a sniper or in a friendly fire exchange but it only turned out to be, much to the relief of everyone a calf strain!
If the Army thought the Great Escape was on they were wrong. An interception on 75 minutes from Blackheath winger Finn Kelly affectively finished the game off and with an earlier penalty and successful conversion now made the score 23-12.
The final play and best score of the match would go to Jack Walsh. Great hands by the backs found James Denham (an Army lad who decided to play for Blackheath, Cookie!!) who fed Finn Kelly, his pace put him away before he passed back inside to Walshy who touch down to make the final score 28-12.