Park can have no complaints at the final result despite dominating the first half for long periods in a match played in extremely difficult conditions.

A slippery pitch and an even more slippery ball certainly did not suit their usual quick-passing game. In the conditions the players on both sides showed quite remarkable handling skills but it did at times look like a contest to see which defenders could kick the ball highest and furthest.

Neither side could really settle on the ball but Park initially made the better fist of it and began to draw errors from the home side. These were punished by fly half Greg Lound who slotted over penalties on 17 and 22 minutes to give his side a 6-0 lead.

Defences were on top with Park having an edge in attacking possession and a slight advantage in the aerial ping-pong stakes but the visitors could not find a way through an excellent home defence.

That did not seem to matter when another error was induced from Blackheath on the half hour to allow Lound to increase the lead to 9-0.

Just as it looked as if Park would go into half time with a clear lead they fell for a sucker punch from the last play of the half. Blackheath fly half Nick Cooke kicked to the corner, Park mishandled the slippery ball and full-back Nick Foster pounced in the right corner to narrow the lead to 9-5. There was no time even to kick off.

Blackheath looked a better team in the second half and caught out the Park defence again after only six minutes, right wing Jake Lloyd getting over the line following a quick tap penalty. Cooke kicked an excellent wide conversion to put Blackheath ahead for the first time at 12-9.

Under pressure, Park conceded a penalty four minutes later, replacement Elliott Clement-Hill stroking it over for 15-9.

There was little between the two sides. A minute later Lound replied with a penalty for Park to reduce the arrears to 15-12.

The crucial score came on the hour when, following a strong home scrummage, Lloyd received the ball and the winger ran a superb diagonal line that left the defence flat-footed to score a superb try that made it 20-12.

Park came back and, with twelve minutes remaining, forced another penalty for Lound to narrow the gap to 20-15.

But Park never really looked like getting the try they needed to square things up and then with almost the last move of the match Blackheath were awarded a penalty and Clements-Hill’s kick took away even their losing bonus point.

Park will be disappointed with their performance and determined to put things right when Birmingham Moseley visit the Rock next Saturday.

Park: Robinson; Edwards, Munro, Leonard, Marfo; Lound; Booth; Nwakor, Vaughan-Edwards, Doran-Jones; Frampton, Gillanders; Macfarlane, Barnard, Laventure.

Bench: Hughes, Lovell, Spencer, Grove, Barnes

Park scorers: Lound (5P)

Next Saturday Park return to the Rock to face Birmingham Moseley. The Midlanders were fancied as dark horses for a tilt at the title before the season started, but have so far disappointed, albeit against some of the better teams in the division. A 27-30 away defeat at Caldy was followed by a 23-24 home defeat at Cinderford and then an 8-52 thumping at Bishops Stortford. They steadied the ship with a 28-22 home win over Rotherham, and emerged with a lot of credit from a tight 27-32 defeat away to Old Elthamians. Last Saturday they looked to have grabbed a draw with Darlington Mowden Park by dint of a last minute try only for Mowden to grab the ball from the restart and score a try up the wing to snatch victory by 41-36.

With narrow defeats against some good teams, Moseley will be looking to change their luck against Park, who will be looking to put last weekend’s defeat firmly behind them.