Match Report
Wheatley Hills RUFC (0) vs Heath RUFC (22)
Saturday 22 September 2007
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Good first half seals result.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd. The Seconds played hosts to Wheatley Hills in another Merit Table game, hoping to build on last week’s fine success away at Huddersfield YMCA. The game commenced on a firm, dry pitch in good conditions with very little wind. Heath kicked off but the ball was well taken, set up and kicked back with interest by Wheatley Hills. The subsequent line out was won by Heath and captain, Neil SMURTHWAITE made good ground before a knock-on brought the move to an end. However, this signalled a period of pressure by the home team. From an attacking scrum some 15 metres out from the Wheatley Hills line, the ball was picked up at the base by Neil SMURTHWAITE. Forward momentum was maintained which led to a penalty being conceded by Wheatley Hills some 10 metres from their line and under the posts. Oliver COOK made no mistake with the kick. 3-0 after 6 minutes. The home side soon extended their lead with an excellent try. From a defending line out some 35 metres from their own line, the ball was won and David FREEMAN made good ground before transferring onto centre, Martin SHAW, who ran some 25 metres before being tackled. The ball was quickly recycled to outside half, Andy WHITE, who made a telling break through the ‘Hills’ defensive back line. The ball was then passed to supporting full back, Colin HEWISON, who was tackled just short of the line. Again, the forwards were quickly in support and scrum half, Tom COLLINGE, moved the ball to the bullocking, Oliver COOK, who placed the ball over the try line for a superb team try. Oliver missed the difficult conversion but 8-0 after 10 minutes play was a very good start by the Heath boys. Shortly after the restart, Tom COLLINGE, was tackled and landed badly and had to be replaced by Richard SIMPSON, who was playing for the 3rd xv on the adjacent field. (Unfortunately, Tom had broken his collar bone and will be out of action for some time—our best wishes go with Tom for a speedy recovery). Heath kept up the pressure which was typified by a line out which was taken at the tail of the line out by wing forward, Mark MATTOCK, who made some 30 metres before offloading to the supporting David FREEMAN who made good ground. A knock-on in the backs then brought the move to an end. After 20 minutes, the home side’s attacking play was rewarded. From an attacking line out in the ‘Hills’ 22 metre area, the ball was moved down the line. At the subsequent ruck, the ball was picked up and drove on a couple of times before Mark MATTOCK picked up from the base of the ruck, went towards the posts and then having been held, he passed an excellent inside ball to the supporting Neil SMURTHWAITE who scored just to the side of the posts giving Oliver COOK and easy conversion which he kicked. 15-0. Wheatley Hills’ only attacking option during the first half was a kick downfield from the outside half with the ball being moved down the backs on one occasion only. Colin HEWISON dealt with these kicks very well normally either placing it down for a ‘22’ or kicking the ball back with interest. However, the next 12-13 minutes of play was a deep kick downfield by ‘Hills’ closely followed by Heath attempting to keep the ball in hands and make ground but being unable to do so by making basic handling errors. In the 37th minute, however, the lead was increased. Second row, Michael STEAD, took the ball on and quick ball was sent back to Andy WHITE who kicked deep forcing the full back to turn around to retrieve the ball which he did. Unfortunately for him though, he attempted to run the ball out from 10 metres from his own line and he was dragged to the ground by centre, Matthew BAXENDALE, who was following up well. The ball was thrown backwards by the full back but Andy WHITE picked up the loose ball to score a try just to the side of the posts. Oliver COOK was successful with the conversion. 22-0 and this was how the score remained until half time. At half time, Michael STEAD was replaced by Rick PAINTER causing a reshuffle of the pack with Rick moving to hooker, Jimmy BLACKMORE moving into the back row and Neil SMURTHWAITE playing in the second row. The foundation had been laid in the first half and the crowd was looking forward to more points in the second half with opposition providing nothing in attack and only a wily number 8 who was disrupting Heath attacks by fair means or foul!! However, the second half proved to be a disappointing affair. On a couple of occasions only the Heath boys put pressure on the ‘Hills’ line but giving credit where credit is due, the ‘Hills’ lads defended them well, tackling well and, in fact, taking turnover ball on both occasions. There was a total stalemate to the second half with the Heath boys unable to put together any consistent pressure due to wrong options, handling errors etc and the ‘Hills’ boys having no attacking option whatsoever. Neil SMURTHWAITE left the field after 70 minutes to be replaced by Mark WARRENDER who had already played a full game on the 3rd xv. The game was brought to an early conclusion by referee, Bob BURTON, after one of the ‘Hills’ lads had suffered an injury. Final score 22-0. On two successive Saturdays now, the 2nd xv have taken a comfortable lead into the second half but have failed to deliver a convincing second half performance on both occasions. However, give the lads credit, they have now scored 55 points without reply in these two games which is a good effort showing their defensive qualities which has been carried on from last season. However, the next 2 games will provide the boys with sterner tests against Old Crossleyans then Old Brodlieans and they will have to be on the top of their game for the full 80 minutes to gain success in these fixtures. But I am sure that the lads will raise their games appropriately for these matches and there is no reason whatsoever why the winning run cannot be extended by 2!!! Man of the match award this week went to wing forward, Mark MATTOCK, who got around the field well and did quite a bit of cleaning up on the ground when required and tackled effectively throughout.
Matt Baxendale breaks through
Ollie Cook takes clean ball



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