Match Report
Heath RUFC (42) vs Blaydon RUFC (24)
Saturday 21 October 2023
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Reporter: Thomas Stanley Walton
Dated: 21 October 2023


15 Dan Cole 14 Elliott Spiers 13 Jack Malthouse 12 Ezra Hinchliffe 11 Joe Morrison 10 Chris Johnson 9 Dom Walsh 1 Chris Moore 2 Alex McFadden 3 Josh Crickmay 4 Saif Boussaada 5 Peter Hampshire 6 Ben Stringer 7 Harvey Keighley-Payne 8 Ian Downsborough 16 Tom Clough 17 Dan Fletcher 18 Jack Pilcher


Harvey Keighley-Payne 1 try Alex McFadden 1 try Jack Malthouse 1 try Dan Cole 1 try  Saif Boussaada 1 try         Chris Johnson 3 pens 4 cons



Heath entertained Blaydon, looking to build on their win against York last week and made changes to the team. Joe Morrison had a starting berth on the wing, replacing Callum Harriott-Brown, while the forwards saw Ben Stringer return replacing Elliot Knight. On the bench Tom Clough and Jack Pilcher were joined by Dan Fletcher.

The game looked in doubt following a flood alert but once again volunteers arrived in the morning and, after cleaning of the changing rooms, it was game on.

Bright sunshine greeted the players as Heath kicked off, playing towards the Stainland Road end and in the first minute, following a charge down clearance, Blaydon converted a penalty to lead 3-0, not the start Heath wanted. However, the response was immediate and Chris Johnson took the opportunity to level the scores with a converted penalty, 3-3 with three minutes played.  Back came the visitors as both sets of forwards battled it out, but an easy penalty was missed by Blaydon, a let off for Heath.

It was a frantic start from both sides but it was Blaydon who scored the first try of the game following yet another charge down clearance to lead 10-3 with fifteen minutes played. The re-start saw Joe Morrison collect the ball and his run into the visitors 22 saw Blaydon concede a penalty and Johnson obliged to reduce the arrears, 10-6.

Heath were playing with confidence and when Harvey Keighley-Payne collected the re-start ball he set off a powerful run, making good ground, before the supporting Alex McFadden took over to power into the Blaydon half. Heath controlled the ball and after some superb rugby Keighley-Payne rounded off the move with a try, converted by Johnson and Heath led 13-10 as the home crowd applauded - appreciating the rugby on show.

Heath continued to play some super rugby and, when Chris Johnson found touch in the corner from the line out ball, Peter Hampshire collected and drove for the Blaydon try-line, before Alex McFadden popped up with the ball for another try, 18-10 with twenty-five minutes played. Heath were now playing with confidence and when Jack Malthouse collected the ball, on the half way line, he evaded several attempted tackles to waltz over the try-line and, as Chris Johnson added the extras, Heath looked to be running away with the game, 25-10.

On came the bench, replacing Chris Moore, Ian Downsborough and Jack Malthouse to ensure Heath kept the pressure on, but a challenge from Dan Cole brought a yellow card when the referee adjudged dangerous play. Blaydon found touch from the penalty and, after winning line out ball, scored a converted try to reduce the arrears 25-17. It was a feisty affair as both sides battled it out but when Chris Johnson converted a penalty, Heath were happy to go in at half time with a lead 28-17.

The second half began with Heath once again pressurising the visitors' defence, as they demolished the Blaydon pack.  And with the homeside back up to full strength, Blaydon were clinging on to the game though Heath could not add to their score.

With sixty minutes played, the referee adjudged a Josh Crickmay tackle dangerous and he received a red card. Play restarted with Blaydon pressing for a score but Heath were in resilient mood and when Dan Cole kicked clear he set off on the chase. A collection of mistakes from the Blaydon defenders saw Cole kick the ball on and he managed to secure touchdown for a converted try, 35-17.

Moore returned for Hampshire as Blaydon mounted a last ditch effort to add to their score and only a superb cover tackle from Joe Morrison prevented a certain try. Heath's efforts were not helped when Saif Boussaada received a yellow and the home side were down to thirteen. However, Heath maintained possession as Blaydon made mistakes but the visitors manged to score a converted try 35-24 and were now in the hunt for a losing bonus point.

From the re-start a massive hit from Harvey Keighley-Payne saw Heath win the ball and, following some slick handling, Boussaada was on hand to score a try, converted by Johnson, and Heath had secured a massive win 42-24 as the referee sounded the whistle to end the game.

It had been an enthralling encounter with both sides fully committed to the cause. Blaydon never gave up but Heath had overpowered them in every department and fully deserved maximum points from the game. The win sees Heath move up to third spot in the league and with a week off will now turn their thoughts to the game away to in form Cleckheaton. See you there!


Scoring timeline:

Christopher Johnson 4' Pen.  Christopher Johnson 15' Pen. Harvey Keighley-Payne 21' Try. Christopher Johnson 21' Conv. Alex Mcfadden 25' Try.  Jack Malthouse 28' Try. Christopher Johnson 28' Conv. Christopher Johnson 38' Pen.

Daniel Cole 67' Try. Christopher Johnson 67' Conv. Seifeddine Boussaada 80' Try. Christopher Johnson 80' Conv.



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Try No 2.
Jack Malthouse, try.
First Try - Harvey K P.
Saif Boussaada scores in final minutes
just scored
Tom Clough & Ezra Hinchliffe
Joe Morrison
Alex McFadden
Ben Stringer
Josh Crickmay
Elliott Spiers
Dan Cole try
Dan Fleming
Harvey Keighley-Payne
Ben Stringer
Pilch and the pack
Frontrow ......
Dom Walsh
Chris Johnson
Jonno again ......
Jonno adding to his tally



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