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Your News National League 1 review

A 1,137-strong crowd was royally entertained at the Rectory Field as Blackheath and Ealing produced an eight-try classic. The lead changed hands an incredible eight times before Ealing’s Tom Wheatcroft kept his nerve to settle this see-saw contest with a penalty in the last minute.

It looked as though Blackheath were set to end Ealing’s unbeaten record after Geoff Griffiths had crossed the line for his second try of the afternoon five minutes from time. But Rory Teague, who had contributed 21 points from the kicking tee, was penalised – and subsequently yellow carded – for a dangerous tackle, and Wheatcroft made no mistake with the resulting three-pointer to clinch an unforgettable game 42-41.

Two other matches on Saturday were settled by the narrowest of margins. Loughborough edged out Old Albanians 13-12 to record their maiden win of the season and Coventry took the scalp of Tynedale at Corbridge thanks to the goal kicking of Cliffie Hodgson. South African Hodgson landed five attempts at goal out of five, including the last kick of the game, to steer the Midlands outfit to a 23-22 win.

Improving Macclesfield ran second-placed Rosslyn Park mighty close at Priory Park. The Londoners looked comfortable at 27-10 up with just over an hour of play gone, but Macclesfield fought back with two tries in the final quarter to take a losing bonus point from the game.

Chris Briers and Warren Spragg got two tries apiece as Fylde put in one of their best performances of the season to see off high-flying Cinderford. Oli Brennand and Rob Stewart were also on the scoresheet in a 44-12 win.

Jack Clifford’s fine start to the season for Esher continued with a brace of tries in a 38-16 success at home to Sedgley Park. The Tigers efforts were undermined by having three men sent to the sin-bin, two of the yellow cards coming in the final 10 minutes when Esher took advantage to score two converted tries.

Yellow cards are also proving costly for Cambridge who were handed two more in the 30-10 defeat away to Richmond to take their overall tally for the season to 10. After back-to-back draws Richmond finally rediscovered the winning feeling thanks to a dominant first half and two penalty tries.

Blaydon played with 13 men either side of half-time after getting two yellow cards within minutes of each other, yet they still came away from the Yorkshire Dales with maximum points. The north-east outfit could also afford the luxury of losing another man to the sin-bin before claiming a 32-28 win. Left wing Thomas Jeffrey scored two of his side’s five tries, while Wharfedale dotted down four times to claim the consolation of a try-bonus point.

Round 7 results

Blackheath 41 - 42 Ealing Trailfinders

Esher 38 - 16 Sedgley Park

Fylde 44 - 12 Cinderford

Macclesfield 25 - 30 Rosslyn Park

Richmond 30 - 10 Cambridge

Tynedale 22 - 23 Coventry

Wharfedale 28 - 32 Blaydon

Loughborough Students 13 - 12 Old Albanians

Round 8 fixtures

Blaydon Vs. Old Albanians

Cinderford Vs. Blackheath

Rosslyn Park Vs. Tynedale

Sedgley Park Vs. Wharfedale

Cambridge Vs. Fylde

Coventry Vs. Richmond

Ealing Trailfinders Vs. Esher

Macclesfield Vs. Loughborough Students

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