Match Report
Paviors RUFC (19) vs Heath RUFC (38)
Saturday 3 December 2022
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Reporter: Thomas Stanley Walton
Dated: 3 December 2022

Team Selections
15 Elliott Spiers 14 Jack Bruce 13 Joe Morrison 12 Tom Owen 11 Callum Harriott-Brown 10 Chris Johnson 9 Dom Walsh 1 Olly Cook 2 Alex McFadden 3 Chris Moore 4 Ian Downsborough 5 Fergus Marsden 6 Elliott Knight 7 Jason Merrie 8 Ben Stringer 16 Paul Turner 17 Rondene Johnson 18 Saif Boussadda

Jason Merrie 1 try  Olly Cook 1 try  Jack Bruce 2 tries Elliott Spiers 1 try Chris Johnson 4 cons 1 pen Dom Walsh 1 con

Heath were forced to make changes following the late withdrawal of Eddie Cartwright, work commitments, so Jack Bruce was drafted in from the seconds, starting on the wing, with Elliott Spiers moving to full back. The forwards also saw Olly Cook make his first start of the season at prop and club sempiternal Ian Downsborough also had a starting berth in the second row. Captain Chris Moore passed a late fitness test so on the bench Paul Turner and Saif Boussadda took a stint alongside Rondene Johnson.

Paviors were finding life in the league difficult but in recent games had improved performances and seemed to prefer playing on home soil. Heath visited the Paviors ground for the first time and were made to wait for the appearance of the home side before the game could commence.

In gloomy conditions, Heath seemed ready for the battle ahead and were quickly in control from the kick off as Elliott Spiers linked up with Callum Harriott-Brown to make inroads into the home defence. Paviors struggled with the early pace set by Heath and when Chris Johnson received the ball from Dom Walsh it went along the line, eventually reaching wingman Jack Bruce but he was bundled into touch as a try beckoned. Heath were in total control and next up Fergus Marsden collected the ball and set off on a steamrolling run setting up another attack. Paviors were struggling and were happy to kick clear a loose ball to relieve the pressure. Back came Heath and some superb inter-passing enabled Jason Merrie to cross the line for a try, converted by Johnson and 7-0 with eight minutes played was the perfect start for Heath.

The visitors continued to throw the ball around and wait for another opportunity and were rewarded when Olly Cook scored a second try after fourteen minutes, again converted by Johnson and a score of 14-0. Paviors to their credit responded and looked to have scored a try but the referee ruled this out. However, following a long punt forwards the ball bounced favourably for the home side and they went over for a converted try on twenty two minutes to reduce the arrears, 14-7.

Heath responded immediately with a converted penalty from Johnson to extend their lead 17-7. On the half hour mark Saif Boussadda and Paul Turner replaced Ian Downsborough and Olly Cook and they were quickly into action as Paviors went in search of another score. Heath withstood the pressure and a superb break from Joe Morrison, who made fifty metres before releasing the supporting Ben Stringer who surged forwards but was illegally tackled and Paviors were down to fourteen players. From the re-start Heath opted for a scrum and with the forwards in control the ball came out via Dom Wash to Joe Morrison who slipped the ball to Jack Bruce and the wingman went in for a try, once again converted by Chris Johnson, and a score of 24-7 was just reward for the visitors as the referee blew for half time. 

Rondene Johnson replaced Chris Moore and the second half began with the perfect start for Heath when Jack Bruce received the ball on the half-way line and, following an outrageous dummy, he sprinted for the line to go under the posts for the try of the game. Chris Johnson added the extras and a score of 31-7 seemed out of reach for the home side. However, they had other ideas and again mounted another attack only for Johnson to clear the lines with a huge kick to find touch. Paviors continued to press and Boussadda received a yellow card on fifty-five minutes in a desperate attempt to prevent the home side from scoring. An injury to Chris Johnson on the hour mark saw Olly Cook return to the action to shore up the defence. Paviors were looking for a score but solid work from Merrie who robbed the ball saw Heath clear their lines.

Next up Tom Owen made a break and the supporting Rondene Johnson battered the home defence as it was Heaths turn to look for a score. It was Paviors turn to defend and Paul Turner and Alex McFadden made serious inroads into the home defence. However, a break from Paviors saw Jason Merrie carded for a dangerous tackle and Heath were down to thirteen. From the resulting re-start Paviors stormed forward and were rewarded with a try to reduce the arrears, 31-12, with fifteen minutes remaining.  Once again Heath responded and Elliott Knight went on a jinking run before being halted just short of the line. Boussadda returned to help shore up the defence as Paviors went in search of adding to their score and with Heath struggling Cook received a yellow card as the home side were awarded a penalty try, 31-19.

With Heath down to thirteen they responded with gusto and against all the odds they won a scrum near the Paviors try-line; the ball came out to Elliott Spiers who glided over for a fifth try, this time converted by Dom Walsh, and a final score of 38-19 secured maximum points.

The win sees Heath maintain third spot, level points with Alnwick in second but who have won one game more. Next up is a Friday night game next week against Sandal with a 7.45pm kick off. Miss it if you  dare!!!!!


Sorry.  No accompanying photos this week.  DG.


This weekend's results:  Here.

League Table:  Here.


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Team Photo - 2021/22.



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