BY GRAHAM COX
Blackheath’s season hit a new low as they lost 16-12 at home to National League 1’s bottom club Tonbridge Juddians on Saturday.
A stubborn defence and, not for the first time, the mighty boot of Tom White, saw the Kent club to a famous victory.
The TJ’s fly-half used the strong wind to strike three second period penalties, backed up by some fine line-kicking, to get his side home after the scores had been level at the break.
It was White’s opposite number who made the initial impact. Starting a game for the first time in more than four years, James Shanahan produced a delightful inside ball to send Nick Foster across for the opening try on seven minutes.
Two yellow cards in rapid succession blunted Blackheath’s progress, and although the visitors were unable to capitalise during the period they had superior manpower they made it 7-7 after 34 minutes. White collected and kicked on, before Harvey Young showed off his own footballing skills, the full-back gathering to cross for 7-7 at the break.
A scrum infringement gave White his first penalty after the restart, but overall it was Blackheath who held the edge at the set-piece. Opting for a scrum from a penalty on 55 minutes, ball was moved across field for Markus Burcham to go within inches, and recycled again for George Spencer to cross and put the hosts 12-10 ahead.
Blackheath were caught holding-on out wide as they tried to work their way out of defence on the hour – eight metres short of halfway. White struck a beauty to put his side back in front, followed by an easier effort moments later for the same offence to stretch the lead further.
Tonbridge were fortunate to escape with no more than a penalty as the ball was cynically picked up in an offside position with Blackheath attackers bearing down, but the hosts failed to make the most of the field position they had gained, and the visitors held on.
Blackheath travel to Devon to take on fellow strugglers Plymouth Albion on Saturday. Kick off at Brickfields is 3pm.
PICTURES: CLAIRE JEFFREYS