Blackheath brought Coventry’s unbeaten National One run to an end with a well-deserved victory at Well Hall in Round 18.
James Shanahan’s side produced a superb 10-try display to become the first side to beat Cov since Plymouth Albion last February, ending a 24-game winning streak in the process.
Cov’s lead at the top is now 14 points as second placed Darlington Mowden Park cruised past Birmingham Moseley, while there were also wins for Plymouth Albion and Old Elthamians in the top half.
Elsewhere, Old Albanian secured a potentially vital victory over rivals Hull Ionians while Rosslyn Park continued their good recent form and Ampthill & District snatched a draw at Esher. Cambridge v Caldy was postponed.
Blackheath 61-29 Coventry
Coventry lost a National One game for the first time this season as Blackheath produced a brilliant performance to beat the league leaders.
And that’s it folks. An amazing game by @Blackheath_1858, beating the league leaders @CoventryRugby. This is the first time Coventry have been beaten this season 61-29. #loveit #loveit #loveit #Nat1 @nca_rugby
— BlackheathRugby (@Blackheath_1858) January 13, 2018
Following a Penalty Try which got the ball rolling for ‘Club’, Markus Burcham, Harry Bate and Jake Lloyd all scored twice while Leo Fielding, Josh Davies and Tom Stradwick completed the victory.
Coventry also bagged a bonus point with tries by Anthony Matoto (3), Will Maisey and James Stokes.
Darlington Mowden Park 42-7 Birmingham Moseley
Darlington Mowden Park maintained their 100 per cent home record with a routine bonus-point win over Birmingham Moseley.
The northeast club dominated, but were pegged back by Brendon Snyman after Garry Law had opened the scoring.
However, Grant Connon claimed another try in the first half for DMP before Law, Brett Connon (2) and Callum McKenzie crossed after the break.
Centre Warren Seals was on target four times and Law twice as all six Darlington tries were converted.
Fylde 0-26 Plymouth Albion
Plymouth Albion cruised to a National One win against bottom of the table Fylde at Woodlands.
Sam Daly completed a well-worked move to score the opening try of the afternoon before Harrison Cully crossed.
Albion had to wait until the final 10 minutes of this match to secure their bonus-point as Matt Shepherd and Cameron Setter both scored late on.
The hosts found it tough to threaten the Plymouth line and ultimately, they were unable to break through.
Esher 29-29 Ampthill and District
Ampthill and District landed a late penalty to earn a draw at Esher in a thrilling game in Surrey.
Billy Johnson (2), Sam Baker and Pete Weightman scored first-half tries for the A’s as they led 26-10 at the break.
— Leo the Photographer (@mega_pics_sell) January 13, 2018
Karl Furey and Tom James had crossed in the opening 40 for Esher, but Ampthill’s control on this game was soon to be undone as the hosts scored 19 unanswered points.
Charlie Gossington, Billy Harding and Caden Murley went over to give Esher a three point lead, but as the clock ticked over the 80 minute mark, Ampthill’s James Pritchard held his nerve to slot over a penalty and steal a draw for Paul Turner’s side.
Loughborough Students 21-25 Old Elthamians
Old Elthamians moved up to sixth in the National One table as they survived a spirited fightback from Loughborough Students.
Tries by Jay Rudland-Thomas (2) and James Golledge saw the visitors open up a 10-point lead at half-time, with Will Kaye crossing for Loughborough.
Adam Preocanin’s touchdown shortly after the restart kept OEs in the box seat, but a score from George Davis plus a Penalty Try brought the Students to within a point of the away side.
However, Tom White’s penalty a minute from time ended Loughborough’s hopes as OEs held on for the victory in the Midlands.
Bishop’s Stortford 20-22 Rosslyn Park
Rosslyn Park extended their unbeaten run to four matches as they edged out Bishop’s Stortford in an excellent contest at Silver Leys.
Stortford did lead 10-5 at half-time thanks to a converted Chris Smith try and a George Cullen penalty while Benji Marfo crossed for the away side.
Tom McCrone and Smith were both yellow-carded for the hosts just before the break and Park took advantage of their absence as Henry Robinson’s try put them ahead.
Kieran Power’s men extended their lead when Stortford were back to full strength as Andrew Henderson went over, but the game provided another twist as a Cullen penalty plus a Steve Ball score gave the home side a three-point lead.
However, it was Park who would have the final say as a great catch and drive from a lineout saw them rumble over and secure their third win in just under a month.
Old Albanian 50-28 Hull Ionians
Old Albanian are now just six points from safety in National One following a crucial and empathic win over fellow strugglers Hull Ionians.
OAs came into the game needing to secure a victory to strengthen their survival chances and they certainly didn’t let the Woollams faithful down.
— Old Albanian RFC (@Old_AlbanianRFC) January 15, 2018
Gavin Hogg’s side led 29-14 at the break as Nick Foster, Max Malins and Rotimi Segun crossed while the I’s gave themselves hope in this contest with an Ali Thompson score and a penalty try before the half was up.
Billy Walker’s try after the interval gave OAs a cushion again, but Hull Ionians cut the lead to eight points following Ali Thompson’s second and another penalty try.
But, Morgan Thompson and Malins both crossed to see OAs home for their first victory since October.
Cambridge P-P Caldy
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