BY GRAHAM COX
Blackheath made it six straight defeats in National 1 as they were beaten 43-28 at Taunton.
Two tries within 10 minutes of the start of the second period effectively sealed only the hosts’ second victory of 2022.
Blackheath had turned around at Veritas Park with a two-point advantage but quickly conceded field position. A further infringement resulting in a yellow card for Dom McGeekie – the next drive saw a depleted Club pack driven back for hooker Alex Spurdle to touch down.
Moments later and Club were suddenly 10 points in arrears as wing Ollie Down sprinted down the right flank, fly-half Jack Walsh’s converting.
Howard Packman would eventually cross for the visitors, as Ollie Claxton directed a brief jaunt into opposition territory, giving Blackheath a valuable four-try bonus. But only after a second try for Charlie Wright, the Titans’ skipper and open-side striding through a missed tackle after numerous phases, and a late score for Ratu Vakalutukali, extinguished any brief hope that the Club might get within seven points and add further consolation.
It had all looked promising early on. George Spencer put Markus Burcham through for the first score of the match inside two minutes. Although Titans’ scrum-half Connor Banks scored in not dissimilar fashion to level shortly after, Blackheath re-established their lead as Jake Hennessey made the line-break to send Nick Foster across.
Spurning a possible three points, however, Taunton chose to drive Wright across for his first score. Titans’ number-eight Sam Prior crashed over from a five-metre scrum.
Blackheath proved before the break that with ball in hand they were capable of prising open a defence. Dan Hiscocks added their third try with Hennessey’s exemplary place-kicking putting the visitors 21-19 ahead, But they never found themselves in the same position again, instead struggling to clear their lines and pinned to their own territory.
Blackheath are next in action at home to Rosslyn Park on March 26.
PICTURES: CLAYTON JANE PHOTOGRAPHY