Match Report
Selby RUFC (0) vs Heath RUFC (33)
Saturday 15 December 2018
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Reporter: Thomas Stanley Walton
Dated: 17 December 2018


Heath travelled to Sandyhill Lane looking to end their run of five visits to the ground with no wins and put in a very workmanlike performance to secure a bonus point win and for the first time since November 2014 ensure their opponents did not get on the scoreboard. Richard Brown was rested and with Fergus Marsden and Jordan Moana unavailable in came Eddie Cartwright on the wing with Si Brown having a stint on the bench alongside Dave Skinner and Mark Puttick.

Conditions were terrible with a biting wind, rain and semi darkness but great credit must go to both sets of players for trying to overcome these and put on a worthy display of rugby. As spectators cowered behind whatever protection they could find Heath opened their account when from a scrum 10 metres from the Selby try-line Ian Downsborough peeled off to go over for a try, converted by Ezra Hinchliffe, and a score of 7-0 with 6 minutes played. Heath continued to use the wind to their advantage with Dan Cole and Jack Crabtree putting in some useful kicks which worked to Heaths advantage. Selby had their first attack on 15 minutes but Heaths defence was solid with Olly Cook prominent with his tackling and breaks. From one of these Dan Cole put in a grubber type kick and Isaiah Spooner pounced to score Heaths second try on 20 minutes and when Ezra Hinchliffe put in a superb conversion Heath were in control 14-0. From the re-start Chris Moore collected the ball and with support from Olly Cook and Alex McFadden the ball came out to Callum Harriett-Brown who set off on a mazy run before being bundled into touch. In a rare attack from the home side Jack Crabtree and Jason Merrie were strong and once again the full back cleared his lines with an excellent kick. Heath went back on attack and from a great line-out catch from Matt Beasty and a Heath drive Olly Cook popped up with the ball scoring Heaths third try, once again converted by Hinchliffe and a lead of 21-0. Selby, to their credit, continued to try and open their account but Heath were resolute in defence and half time arrived with no further score as the players sought the solice of the changing rooms in order to thaw out.

Dave Skinner and Mark Puttick replaced Alex McFadden and Ian Downsborough, with Si Brown preferring the warmth of the bench, as conditions began to deteriorate even more. Playing against the wind Heath continued to go in search of the bonus point try and on 55 minutes Mark Puttick thought this was secured when he went over the line only for the referee to pull play back for an earlier infringement. However, it was only a matter of time and when Jack Crabtree put in a superb kick along the ground Callum Harriett-Brown was on hand to score an unconverted try and increase the Heath lead to 26-0 with an hour played. Darkness was setting in and it became difficult for spectators to see the play but when Jonny Cole and Jason Merrie linked up Heath went in search of another score. Eddie Cartwright went on a searching run and then Ezra Hinchliffe and Isaiah  Spooner exchange passes the supporting Merrie scored a fifth try, converted by Hinchliffe, 33-0. With the score never in doubt the referee blew for full time much to the relief of all and the players once again made haste to the warmth of the changing rooms with Si Brown already seated under a radiator.

This was an excellent performance from Heath in difficult conditions and for those supporters who had made the trek over it made the homeward journey that much better. With a two week break coach Dave Harrison will be pleased with second place in the league but will no doubt working hard to ensure his charges are ready for the January re-start with games against Old Brods, Moortown, Pontefract and Old Rishworthians awaiting.



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