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National One: Barking 23 Blackheath 29

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Despite a second half comeback, Barking were undone 29-23 by rivals Blackheath at Gale Street on Saturday

With a two-week break out of the way, the visitors took the lead after only eight minutes when Dave Allen crossed the try line from a catch and drive, with Sam Windsor adding the extras.

But the home side responded when man-of-the-match Andrew Henderson broke clear of the Blackheath defence only to be tackled short of the line.

However, with men over on the left, Barking were able to recycle the ball out to wing Stephen Hihetah who applied the finishing touch.

As the half wore on, Allen, from a carbon copy of his first went over again, and Windsor also added the conversion attempt.

Craig Ratford slotted over a last-minute penalty to send the hosts into the break 12-8 behind.

Two minutes after the interval Blackheath took full control of the tie, when Ben Ibrahim weaved his way over after an initial clever kick into touch from Windsor.

And their misery was compounded when Ben Stephenson went over in the corner for a bonus-point winning fourth try, before Barking then rallied.

They profited once again from a Henderson break, before the ball was recycled again to Will Nelson who crossed the try line.

All the pressure was coming from the home side, and after a 10-minute spell, they finally got the try their play rewarded when Tom Parker managed to get the ball down as they moved in on the bonus point with the score now at 26-20.

With 10 minutes left, Windsor slotted over a penalty to restore their nine-point lead, but with three minutes remaining, Ratford slotted over a penalty to move them back to within a converted try, but despite plenty of effort, they failed to break down Blackheath in the final few minutes as they slipped to defeat.

Barking: Gash, Nelson, Henderson, Dodge, Hihetah, Ratford, Parker, Mullins, Wood, McGrath, Burns, Turner, Armstrong, Yellowlees,, Davies.

Replacements: F Ambrose, McIntyre, Reynolds, Sinfield, Hardy.

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