SEB Reynolds was proud of how his young Rams side came through the chaos of a poor start to beat Blackheath 33-25 in a National One thriller at Old Bath Road.

The hosts found themselves 10-0 down inside six minutes as Tom Ffitch kicked a penalty and then converted Jake Lloyd’s try, Rams hitting back with star man Dan Swain stretching over for Fraser Honey to add the extras.

Two quickfire five-pointers from Jake Hennessey and Noah Sloot made it 20-7 within a quarter-of-an hour, and the score remained the same until the interval.

Rams, though, made a perfect start to the second period as Ollie Monye grabbed his sixth try of the season, and when captain Honey also converted Charlie Robson’s effort, his side led by a point.

Ellis Jones sealed the try bonus before former Ram Paul Schroter gave Club hope, only for Zach Clow to seal the deal with five minutes remaining.

The average age of the hosts’ team was under 25, and missing experienced leaders such as captain Robbie Stapley, Drew Humberstone and Henry Bird, the Director of Rugby admitted: “The win maybe makes me a little prouder than normal, but that’s because of what the other guys have done – they’ve taken the side to new heights in recent years.

“We wanted to challenge a young group – taking the leaders out of it – and see how they got on.

“We knew we’d have to live in the chaos of it at times, but while we came under pressure, with one more score Blackheath looked like they might run away with it, when we got on the front foot we showed we could play.”

He continued: “It was a very good game – Blackheath were quality and were value for money to lead in the first half.

“They stretched our edge and scored tries out wide, their kick-offs were superb, we lost our discipline, and nothing was going our way for the first 30 minutes.

“But we stuck in the game well, stayed calm as a young group, dealt with adversity and just towards the end of the first half we were starting to get on the front foot.

“We felt our conditioning would hopefully come through, we then got guys like Charlie and Zach onto the ball in good positions and eventually we were able to take advantage.”

Trailing 20-7 at the interval, Reynolds felt Monye’s try was crucial, explaining: “We needed to win the first five or 10 minutes of the second half – if we didn’t do that the game was done.

“You don’t want to say it at half-time because it builds the pressure, but it’s the reality of it.

“Thankfully we were able to win some little battles which gave us the opportunity to get back into the game, and while they came back again, we were able to pull away.”

With the wind at their backs after the break, Club also kicked plentifully which played into the hosts’ hands, the DoR revealing: “It can be a good option, but if you’re not completely accurate you’re going to give the likes of Charlie, George and Zach the chance to run it back at you, and they took advantage of that.

“I also thought our midfield was superb – Ellis scored a lovely try and Rowan was solid defensively, so it was good.”

Star man, though, was Swain, who was again his usual combative and physical self around the park.

And Reynolds praised the man-of-the-match, as well as a second-highest crowd of 987 this season, as he ended: “Dan’s an extremely tough, go-forwards, unrelenting second row who has had an outstanding season for us.

“Right at the end there was a turnover of Paul Schroter where he sort of ‘Big Brothered’ him by ripping the ball – and I say that loving Paul to bits! It secured the game.

“And thanks again to the supporters – they got their money’s worth with a brilliant game – and we can’t wait to see them for Richmond in three weeks’ time.”

Rams firstly travel to Plymouth Albion on Saturday, April 6.