Loughborough Students fightback to sink Blackheath
Blackheath suffered a third defeat in their last four games as Loughborough Students staged a second half comeback to continue their mini revival in National One.
The Students had trailed by nine points at the break, but an inspired performance by Owen Waters guided them another victory and the Midlands side are now just two points adrift of safety.
It was a good weekend for Loughborough as the only other sides to win in the bottom half of the division were Cambridge and Hull Ionians.
At the right end of the table, Coventry were able to extend their lead at the top as a 12th successive win of the season was made sweeter following second placed Darlington Mowden’s park draw with Bishop’s Stortford.
Elsewhere, Ampthill and District battled to a victory over Rosslyn Park, Birmingham Moseley edged out Caldy and Esher thrashed Fylde.
Coventry 29-14 Plymouth Albion
National One leaders Coventry powered to their twelfth consecutive win of the season as they beat Plymouth Albion to extend their lead at the top.
Coventry are now 11 points clear at the summit and their 100 per cent record for the campaign remains intact following this victory over one of their closest rivals for possible promotion.
Max Trimble and Tom Kessell’s tries helped Coventry to a 15-14 lead at the break with Rupert Freestone and Sam Holmes responding.
Scott Tolmie added two more scores for Coventry and Rowland Winter’s men were able to manage the rest of the game superbly as Albion struggled to add to their first half tally.
Bishop’s Storford 22-22 Darlington Mowden Park
Bishop’s Stortford snatched a dramatic draw against Darlington Mowden Park to dent the visitors’ promotion ambitions.
Mowden Park led 17-7 after an exciting first half as tries from Shaun McCartney, Ben Frankland and Grant Connon cancelled out Matt Riddington’s early score.
Really didn’t see that last 20 mins coming. But full credit to our guys. Really stuck to the task and for that effort alone they deserved their 2 point reward.
— BSRFC (@BSRUGBY) November 25, 2017
McCartney crossed to extend the away side’s lead before Stortford mounted a remarkable fightback.
Stephen Ball picked a gap in the Darlington defence to reduce the arrears and when George Cullen pinged over a penalty, Stortford were well and truly in this contest.
A yellow card shown to Ralph Appleby was capitalised on by the hosts as Nick Hankin scored late to deny Mowden Park the win.
Ampthill and District 29-23 Rosslyn Park
Ampthill and District moved to within two points of second placed Darlington Mowden Park following a bonus-victory over Rosslyn Park.
A penalty try plus scores from Joe Berics and Alex Lutui helped Ampthill into a 21-15 half-time lead, with Rosslyn prop Nick Lovell going over for a brace.
After both sides had exchanged penalties, Park cut the deficit to just one a point as Jamie Gray crossed, but the key score in the game occurred four minutes from time as Berics grabbed his second to seal a hard-fought win for Paul Turner’s men.
Blackheath 21-22 Loughborough Students
Loughborough Students are now just two points adrift of safety after they clinched a tight victory against Blackheath.
Fly-half Owen Waters slotted over a penalty late in the game to seal the Students’ third win from their last four matches.
#PlayerStatsSunday Owen Waters is our next player in focus. He’s a key play maker, bosses the game and is an accurate kicker. #LboroRugby #Rugby #Nat1 #LWOW #WhereHistoryBegins pic.twitter.com/3vNLlCabMM
— Loughborough Rugby (@LboroRugby) November 26, 2017
Mike Perks and Jake Lloyd had earlier scored tries for Blackheath to give the hosts a 15-6 lead at the break.
Waters and Will Kaye crossed for Loughborough, but it was the boot of the Loughborough No.10 which proved to be the difference as he ended the day with a tally of 17 points.
Birmingham Moseley 13-11 Caldy
Birmingham Moseley battled to earn their fourth win on the trot as they beat 14-man Caldy in National One.
Gavin Roberts put the visitors in front by landing a penalty, but the turning point in the match came before half-time as Derek Salisbury was shown two yellow cards for Caldy following an off-the-ball-block and then dissent.
With Caldy’s prop now dismissed, Birmingham Moseley levelled the scores at the break as Andy Fluker slotted over three points.
The fly-half nudged Moseley in front after the interval, but despite being a man down, Caldy went back ahead as Nick Royle scampered home.
However, the hosts responded almost immediately as Tim Molenaar sniped over and Fluker’s conversion gave Moseley a five point lead.
But Caldy continued to show some fight as Roberts slotted over his second penalty of the match and the Wirral side could have won it late on, but some great defensive work by Buster Lawrence sealed victory for the hosts.
Old Albanian 7-54 Cambridge
Ashley Elvers and Pierre Peres both scored twice as Cambridge thrashed Old Albanian at Woolams to end a run of three straight defeats.
Old Albanian had also lost their previous three matches, but this was another tough afternoon for Gavin Hogg’s side.
Cambridge were clinical and had built a 28-0 lead by the break with Ean Griffiths, Peres (2) and Elvers all going over.
Albert Portsmouth and Elvers crossed either side of an Old Albanian score, but the away side deservedly had the final say as Jake McCloud wrapped up a comfortable win for Ross Stewart’s men.
Hull Ionians 27-11 Old Elthamians
Hull Ionians moved five points clear of the relegation places as a Mat Clark hat-trick guided them to victory against Old Elthamians.
A scrappy first half ended with the hosts leading 7-6 thanks to a converted James Sanderson try, with Joe Carlisle landing two penalties for the visitors.
Big thanks to @Ioniansrufc boys for making feel so welcome today. Good 5 points. #buskeepsrolling
— Mat Clark (@13MatClark) November 25, 2017
Clark grabbed two of his three scores before the hour mark to put the I’s 13 points ahead, but their lead was reduced following an Ollie Claxon try.
However, a Chris Bell penalty as Clark’s third saw the home side secure the win.
Esher 50-12 Fylde
Esher continued their excellent performances at home as they totally outplayed bottom of the table Fylde to seal their fifth win at Moseley Road this season.
Two well worked Will Harding tries helped Esher lead 33-0 at half-time with Stephen Boatman, Kariym Irving and Callum Monks also crossing.
Fylde got on the board through a spectacular Tom Carelton try in the second period, but that came after a fine Boatman score for Esher.
The hosts responded to Fylde’s try as Karl Furey went over from close range before Jake Pope dotted down for the away side.
But, Esher had the final say on proceedings as Irving scored his second try as the Surrey side claimed a convincing victory.