Match Report
Heath RUFC (29) vs Keighley RUFC (25)
Saturday 1 December 2007
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Its three out of three..

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd xv. The Seconds entertained Keighley 2nds on a cool, dull afternoon in West Vale in a Merit Table game hoping to continue in the same vein as the previous Saturday when emerging victorious in a close game against Wharfedale. Heath had an early opportunity to open their account when good following up of a Mick GLEESON kick by Oliver WILBY and Nigel ROYSTON caught the Keighley number 8 in possession and he was penalised for holding on in the tackle. Oliver WILBY took a quick tap was impeded illegally and the penalty was moved forward 10 metres. Mick GLEESON then attempted to kick the penalty but just pulled it to the left of the posts. After 5 minutes, the deadlock was broken when Heath were penalised for offside in the backs at a Keighley attacking line out in the home '22 '. The Keighley full back converted the penalty from virtually in front of the posts. 0-3. But Heath managed to get on the score sheet after 12 minutes when the ball was won at a ruck just outside the Keighley '22' and outside half, Mick GLEESON, made a break in the gap which opened up between his opposite number and the inside centre and when he was stopped 5 metres short of the line, he was able to pop the ball out to the supporting full back, Colin HEWISON, to score a try under the posts. Mick GLEESON successfully converted. 7-3. Heath now seemed to gain the ascendancy and the forwards were playing well as a unit with number 8, Ian DOWNSBOROUGH and scrum half, Gareth OWEN, building up an excellent understanding in their first game together. From a Keighley 22m drop out, the ball was run back with interest by Colin HEWISON who passed the ball inside to Ian DOWNSBOROUGH who found centre, Dave CRAIGIE, in support and play was taken back into the Keighley '22'. A number of drives followed and Heath had created an excellent attacking platform only for a slack pass out from one of the rucks leading to Keighley being able to recover possession and move the ball some 60 metres down field through their back line. After 33 minutes, Heath were awarded a penalty some 15 metres inside the Keighley half. Mick GLEESON elected to kick at goal but, again, dragged the kick wide. Heath kept the away side under pressure in their own half and increased their lead after 36 minutes when, from a '22' drop out, the ball was collected by Colin HEWISON and run back with both speed and agility. He made 30+ metres before passing the ball to the supporting Dave CRAIGIE who was able to power his way over the line. Although the conversion was missed, 12-3, was a good platform. However, concentration levels were not maintained at the subsequent kick off when Keighley were able to recover the ball in the Heath '22' and Heath were penalised for pulling down the maul. Keighley opted for an attacking line out and they took the ball cleanly. The home pack allowed a maul to form and the Keighley pack drove over near the corner flag. The conversion was well kicked. 12-10 after 38 minutes. Things were to get worse before the half time whistle!! Deep into injury time, the Keighley inside centre, who had been causing problems during the first half, took possession of the ball some 40 metres out. The first tackle on him was missed leaving full back, Colin HEWISON and left winger, Gavin WIGGINS, isolated and the centre ran a good line to score an unconverted try near the corner. The whistle was blown for half time. 12-15. From a position of strength, the Heath lads had managed to fall behind due to 2 errors. The second half started well with Heath dictating play. In the 46th minute, Mick GLEESON received the ball some 25 metres out from the Keighley line and with a flat defensive line facing him, he put in a delicate chip over the defence but was impeded whilst following up his kick and Heath were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately, this was to be Micks’ last piece of action as he had to leave the field with a well and truly broken nose. Oliver COOK then converted the penalty to give a score of 15-15. Heaths' one and only replacement, Alf BAXTER, then entered the fray leading to Ian DOWNSBOROUGH taking up the outside half position, Oliver COOK moving to number 8 and Alfie slipping into the second row to partner Nigel ROYSTON. He was soon into his stride though from the kick off when he upset one of the Keighley forwards with his attempt at tackling a somewhat taller chap than himself and perhaps going a little higher than the law allows!!! However, Heath continued to press and came up with an excellent try after 53 minutes. From an attacking ruck, the ball was passed to Ian DOWNSBOROUGH who took the ball into the Keighley half and created space for Dave CRAIGIE with a deft pass. Dave CRAIGIE ran a very good line from the left side of the field towards the right side taking out Keighley defenders. When he was held some 10 metres from the line, he slipped the ball out to the ever-supporting Oliver WILBY who almost immediately passed to Mark MATTOCK. He then fed the supporting Oliver COOK who scored an excellent team try some 20 metres to the side of the posts. Oliver COOK then converted the try to give Heath the lead once again. 22-15. After 60 minutes, Heath had an opportunity to increase their lead from a penalty some 25 metres out. Unfortunately, Oliver COOK just pulled his effort wide but Heath were still dictating matters at this stage. The play for the majority of the second half was centred in the Keighley half and Heath had a further penalty opportunity after 70 minutes but the attempted kick at goal by Oliver COOK was missed from near the touchline. However, after 75 minutes Keighley were given a lifeline. From an attacking scrum some 30 metres out from the Keighley line, Ian DOWNSBOROUGH made a good forward drive towards the corner flag. He attempted to slip a ball outside to Dave CRAIGIE but this was intercepted by Keighley and the ball found itself in the hands of the rangy centre who made an initial break then kicked long downfield. This was now a foot chase between himself and Gavin WIGGINS and Gavin did very well indeed to beat him to the ball just short of the Heath line and set up a ruck. Heath knocked on and Keighley were awarded a scrum 5 metres out. From the scrum, the ball was moved quickly blind for the left winger to score an unconverted try in the corner. 22-20. Heath immediately regained the initiative from the kick off when they were able to pinch the ball and this led to a sustained period of pressure with the forwards putting in some excellent driving phases and scrum half, Gareth OWEN, making a couple of sniping runs. The pressure led to the awarding of a penalty some 7 metres out near the corner. Heath decided to run the ball in a pre-arranged set piece move. The move was executed superbly as Ian DOWNSBOROUGH took the ball infield and scored a try near the posts, which was subsequently converted by Oliver COOK. 29-20 after 78 minutes. From the kick off, the ball was taken and kicked back upfield. Keighley ran the ball back at Heath and after a couple of phases the ball reached the dangerous centre who made a very good run to score an unconverted try in the corner. 29-25 into injury time. There was still time for the restart but Heath kept Keighley in their own half before the referee, Damian O’HEHIR blew for ‘no side’ Man of the Match awards went to Dave CRAIGIE in the backs who put in a very good display both in attack and defence and Nigel ROYSTON in the forwards who put in a strong 80 minute performance highlighted near the end of the game when the Keighley hooker took a quick tap and ran straight into Nigel. It was like a scene from a cartoon as the Keighley lad was stopped dead in his tracks and went to ground in one fell swoop!!! This is now 3 wins on the run for Heath 2nd xv. This was a totally deserved success for the Heath boys who dictated play throughout but who were heavily punished in the scoring department by Keighley for their mistakes. The last few games has seen the availability of players for the 2nd xv who have extensive 1st team experience and this has helped the lads take the game to their opponents with confidence and skill. Injuries permitting, hopefully, the lads have now turned the corner and can look forward to the rest of the season with confidence. Well done to all concerned. Let’s keep the momentum going now.



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