Match Report
Huddersfield Laund Hill (0) vs Heath RUFC (33)
Saturday 15 September 2007
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Decisive win for the 2nds.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd. The Seconds made the short journey to take on Huddersfield YMCA in their second consecutive Merit Table game of the season in good spirits despite their narrow defeat the previous week at home against Sandal. The team showed a number of changes to the side that played last week with the inclusion of our two recent Kenyan recruits, Gibson WERU and Edwin SHIMENGA who were looking to make a big impression on their debut. Captain Emlyn JAMES was a notable absentee as a result of a nasty knee injury picked up against Sandal, Neil SMURTHWAITE taking over the leadership. Heath kicked off and the home side were immediately put under pressure from a Heath side which had a determined look about them. After 5 minutes the pressure told when YMCA conceded a penalty for killing the ball in the ruck and Oliver COOK duly converted. 3-0. From the kick off, Heath went back on the offensive and the forwards were winning good ball, which was being used in an expansive manner by the backs. Again, the pressure told once more when outside half, Andy WHITE, made good ground before the ball was moved through a number of pairs of hands, reaching left wing, Rob OWEN, who touched down in the corner. The conversion by Oliver COOK just failed but 8-0 after 15 minutes was an excellent start. Play was now totally concentrated in the home half of the pitch and the Heath boys were playing with confidence and using the ball extremely well giving their opponents no time to settle at all. Although they were dominating, there was no further score until 30 minutes into the game when clean ball was won at the line out, it was moved quickly down the line and a sublime pass from Gibson WERU found fellow centre Matthew BAXENDALE who showed excellent pace and awareness to cut through a gap and score some 5 metres in from touch. Oliver COOK kicked a superb conversion to make the score 15-0. Again Heath came straight back onto the attack and fine kicking from Andy WHITE was keeping the home side pinned back in their ‘22’. From a home line out some 8 metres from their own line, the scrum half failed to clean up some tapped back ball and wing forward, Edwin SHIMENGA, broke through the line to pick up the loose ball and score an opportunist try some 15 metres in from touch. The conversion by Oliver COOK was pulled just to the left of the posts but 20-0 after half an hour was just reward for Heaths’ efforts. The lead was increased after 34 minutes when a penalty under the posts was awarded, after the home side were penalised for playing the ball on the ground. Oliver COOK made no mistake. 23-0 Heath made ground once more back into the YMCA half and the ball was moved down the back line and a score looked inevitable but a poor pass to left wing, Rob OWEN, resulted in the move breaking down. Huddersfield YMCA then enjoyed their only real bit of attacking pressure on the Heath line when Heath were penalised in their '22 '. The ball was kicked to touch and the ball was won and passed down the line when another penalty followed. The home outside half then attempted to kick the ball for his left winger to catch on the full and score in the corner…..unfortunately, the ball went 10 metres backwards and the opportunity was lost!! Half time soon followed and the Heath boys could feel well and truly satisfied with their first half performance. The second half was generally a very low key affair with Heath being unable to raise their game to the same high standards which had been set in the first half. Huddersfield YMCA were attempting to run the ball on all occasions and although they had a large amount of possession, the Heath defence was solid with 1 – 15 tackling when required. Heath withstood the pressure and a long kick downfield by Andy WHITE was chased up by Matthew BAXENDALE who tackled the right winger who was subsequently penalised for 'holding on ' in the tackle. Oliver COOK made no mistake with the penalty. 26-0 after 66 minutes. Heath now began to discover their previous dominance and were rewarded with a converted try after some 72 minutes. Andy WHITE kicked the ball downfield and he harassed the opposition right winger and managed to retrieve the ball and pass to left wing, Rob OWEN, who outsprinted a couple of defenders before scoring an excellent try in the corner from some 50 metres out. Oliver COOK kicked a superb conversion. 33-0. The last 8 minutes was played out without further incident / score and the game was brought to an end by the referee. This was a very satisfying game for the Heath boys. The first half was played with speed, determination and not a little skill and although the second half was a comparatively poor affair, the Heath lads had chance to show their defensive skills which were excellent. It appeared the boys believed that the game had been won at half time and they found it difficult to raise their game after that. Man of the match awards went to two youngsters; wing forward Oliver COOK had a very effective game in the loose and also his kicking for goal throughout was very good indeed. Oliver now looks to have the self-confidence which had been missing previously and he is starting to show what an asset he can be for the club. The second recipient is Matthew BAXENDALE. Although he has played the odd game for the 2nd xv on the wing or at full back, he took up an unaccustomed role in the centre but both his attacking and defensive play was excellent; his efforts being rewarded with an excellent try, that showed both his speed and his eye for the gap. Just a quick word about Gibson and Edwin. The 2 boys are having to return to Kenya on Wednesday but let’s hope that they will both be returning soon as they showed today what a difference they could make to Heath RUFC. All the very best, lads, and hopefully, see you both in the very near future.



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