Mike Ayrton scores late try to earn Cambridge a draw with Blackheath
Winger pounces twice in landmark match
Mike Ayrton’s last-minute try earned Cambridge a deserved 23-23 draw with Blackheath in National League One.
In a well-contested match, Blackheath landed the first blow thanks to a penalty from Leo Fielding, and they increased their advantage after 13 minutes as a catch and drive from a line-out was finished off by Mike Perks.
But Cambridge fought back, and Albert Portsmouth’s burst on the wing from halfway found George Furbank in support, and he in turn passed to Louis Rawlings to touch down, with Jack Green landing the conversion.
And Green’s penalty on the stroke of half time put Cambridge 10-8 ahead.
Blackheath made the better start in the second half, nudging ahead through another Fielding penalty.
Their advantage was then increased when a box kick was fielded and run straight back at Cambridge, with Fielding getting the touch down in the corner.
Green made it 16-13 through a penalty, but after another catch and drive from a line-out, a penalty try was awarded against Cambridge, and Fielding’s conversion made it 23-13.
But in a rousing finish, Ayrton, making his 150th appearance for the club, received a pass after good work from Furbank to dart over in the corner.
And following some superb, sustained work by the forwards, Ayrton got possession to race over in the same corner to make it 23-23.
Cambridge: Furbank; Petrides, Hema, J Ayrton, Portsmouth; Green, Trotter; Reeves, Ruddock, Seal, Moon, Baxter, Rawlings, Laxton, Nutley.
Replacements: Read (Nutley, 48), Langley (Seal, 53), Griffiths (Ruddock, 53), Liebenberg (Trotter, 59), M Ayrton (Petrides, 61), Nutley (Rawlings, 76).
Blackheath: Griffiths; Fielding, Burcham, Cooke, Lloyd; Whatling, Bedding; Croall, Perks, Scutt, Gillanders, Montgomery, Owen, Walker, Baldwin.
Replacements: Baker, Stradwick, Davies (Griffiths, 29), Chapman (Bedding, 40), Stradwick (Montgomery, 45), Read (Scutt, 65), Baker (Lloyd, 80+4).
Sin bin: Blackheath – Perks (technical offence, 80+2).
Referee: Thomas Davis.
Scorers: 6min Fielding pen (0-3), 13 Perks try (0-8), 21 Rawlings try – Green con (7-8), 40+2 Green pen (10-8), 47 Fielding pen (10-11), 55 Fielding try (10-16), 64 Green pen (13-16), 72 penalty try – Fielding con (13-23), 74 M Ayrton try (18-23), 80+7 M Ayrton try (23-23).