Lack of finishing power again leaves Greens lamenting fortunes at Rectory Field
A YEAR ago at the Rectory Field, Wharfedale were denied victory when a final-minute conversion hit the uprgight.
On Saturday, the Greens had to be content yet again with only a losing bonus point after a late rally just failed to wrestle the game back from the home side.
Had the Greens capitalised more clinically on their fine creative first-half play they might well have sealed the match themselves by half-time. But a series of excellent line breaks either lacked close enough support or failed through a poor final pass.
Instead, it was Blackheath who led 20-9 at the break with three well-taken tries to none with the Greens garnering only a trio of penalties from Tom Barrett for their time spent hammering away at the home line.
No 8 James Catt collected the opening try after a pick-up from the back of a five-yard scrum and it was converted by Adam Armstrong. He was the instigator of the second as well when he freed winger Richard Bright on a blind-side finish again from another close scrum.
These scores clearly underlined the primary set-piece strength of the Blackheath game. With Wharfedale once more on the attack, a pass rebounded into Bright’s path, allowing him to hack clear and chase for a 70-yard breakaway score.
Wharfedale made light of a yellow card to scrum-half Phil Woodhead and a string of injuries, but the second half looked to be belonging to the home side as they tightened their game and added a bonus point try by scrum-half Jack Walsh to lead 27-12 on the hour.
But a stirring final rally by Wharfedale produced tries first for Barrett following a neat collection of his own chip forward and then Dan Solomi with a trademark burst from the ruck and scuttle for the line.
It was enough to force Blackheath to weather a nervous finish but not deprive them of a hard-earned win.