Match Report
Heath RUFC (24) vs York RUFC (13)
Saturday 5 January 2008
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Hard work pays dividends.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath Seconds. The 2nd xv entertained York 2nds in the first Merit Table game of 2008. The weather conditions were ideal for rugby; it was dry and mild with only a very slight breeze. Heath kicked off towards the road end and the first few minutes were spent in the York half. Unfortunately, Heath were dealt a blow after only 5 minutes when right wing, Andy WHITE had to leave the field after a knock to the head to be replaced by Mark GARSIDE. Heath continued to press using both backs and forwards and their efforts were rewarded in the 10th minute when York were penalised for offside some 35 metres out, directly in front of the posts and Oliver COOK made no mistake with the kick. 3-0. Heath soon returned on the offensive when the ball was taken well by full back, Chris O’CONNOR and it was run back with interest by both himself and centre, David CRAIGIE but the ball was then dropped and the move came to a halt. Play remained in the York half but the home side was making both handling errors and also naïve tactical mistakes- - - instead of building phases through the pack, they were continually trying to keep the ball moving leading to errors in open play allowing York to then clear their line. After 19 minutes, replacement right wing, Mark GARSIDE suffered a leg injury and he was replaced by front row replacement, Tom WARD, who initially slotted in on the wing but then went into the back row, allowing wing forward, Mark MATTOCK, to play on the wing. Heath continued to dominate but were unable to break a solid York defence. After 26 minutes, York were awarded a penalty for a high tackle by Tom WARD some 40 metres out and the full back made no mistake. 3-3. From the resulting kick off, the ball was kicked into Heath territory by York but the ball was well fielded by Chris O’CONNOR who made excellent ground before setting up a ruck. The ball was quickly moved out but yet another handling error allowed York to clear their lines once more. Still, Heath well and truly held the upper hand and a good chip through by Richard COLE lead to a defending line out near the York line and although the ball was cleared to touch, Heath had another good attacking platform. Lineout ball was won and it was passed down the line. After 2-3 good quick ruck balls, the ball was passed down the line again but David CRAIGIE was unable to grab a difficult pass with the try line beckoning. However, York remained penned in their own 22 and Heath were awarded a penalty for offside some 5 metres out just to the side of the posts and captain, Rick PAINTER, took the sensible decision to go for goal. Oliver COOK made no mistake. 6 - 3 after 35 minutes. The lead, however, was short-lived when York were awarded a couple of penalties, the second of which allowed the visiting full back to convert the kick from some 35 metres out. 6-6 after 38 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Oliver COOK had a penalty attempt which was wide of the posts and the referee blew his whistle to bring the half to an end. At this stage, the scoreline was disappointing from the home point of view. They probably had 75% of possession and territorial advantage but were unable to maintain composure, which would surely have led to scoring opportunities being created. This matter was addressed at the half time team talk. The second half began and for the first 3-4 minutes, Heath had fallen asleep. On two separate occasions, the York backs made clean breaks through the home ranks. They soon woke up and forded their way back upfield into York territory where play was again centred. After 50 minutes, York were penalised for killing the ball some 5 metres from their line. This lead to the sinbinning of York number 4. From the resultant tap penalty, the ball was driven in by wing forward, Jim BLACKMORE, and it was then transferred to the blind side to second row, Dean COTTON, who powered his way over the line for a well-taken try near the corner flag. The difficult conversion was missed by Oliver COOK. 11-6. Heath needed to build on this lead but the next score went to York. A penalty kick lead to an attacking line out and the ball was secured. The first drive was kept out but when the ball was released to the backs, the centre took the ball and decided to go blind. He was allowed to do so and ran through a couple of Heath players before scoring in the corner. The full back kicked an excellent touchline conversion. 56 minutes gone and 11-13. When the York number 4 returned to the field, Heath had been unable to capitalise on their extra man and, in fact, had been outscored by the opponents, 5 - 7. However, the Heath boys continued to apply pressure to the home line and a penalty was awarded to the side of the posts and Oliver COOK made no mistake. 14 -13 after 62 minutes. Shortly after the kick off, Heath were awarded a free kick in midfield between their 10 metre line and the 22. Richard COLE took a quick tap and made ground before passing to the supporting number 8, James WHEELWRIGHT, who then offloaded to David CRAIGIE who made some 40+ metres on an excellent run which took play deep into the York 22. Heath then remained there and their pressure lead to them increasing the lead. From an attacking line out, the ball was cleanly taken at the front by Oliver COOK and he passed it to Dean COTTON, who ran with purpose down the touchline side. He was able to pass inside to James WHEELWRIGHT who made further ground before finding the supporting Oliver COOK, who scored some 8 metres in from touch. Although the conversion was missed, Heath had a little breathing space at 19-13 after 69 minutes. Heath then had opportunities to score wide out but left wing, Rob OWEN, was forced into touch just short of the line. The 2nds had now lifted the tempo and York were being put under considerable pressure. The backs were defending solid and the forwards were not allowing the opposition an opportunity to gain the initiative. This was typified when York won scrum ball but wing forward, Jim BLACKMORE ‘buried’ the outside half leading to turnover ball and the subsequent awarding of an attacking scrum some 7 metres from the York line. From the scrum, James WHEELWRIGHT picked up, went blind and passed to right wing, Mark MATTOCK who dropped the ball with the line at his mercy. Play remained in the York half and Heath were rewarded for all of their pressure in the second half when, from a scrum some 15 metres from the York line, the ball was passed to outside half, Tom OWEN, who made ground before releasing an excellent long pass allowing David CRAIGIE to run past his opposite number before passing to left wing, Rob OWEN who showed determination to score a good try in the corner. Again, the difficult conversion just missed. 24-13 after 78 minutes. Heath again went straight on the offensive from the kick off but were unable to add to their tally before referee, Graham HALL, brought the game to an end. This was a game in which the Heath lads were totally dominant. Once the problems of the first half had been ironed out at half time, the boys played excellent controlled rugby in the second half, leading to 3 very good tries being scored. As in the previous Saturdays’ defeat of Old Rishworthians 1st xv, Heaths domination of possession gradually wore down the opposition and the boys got exactly what they deserved. Man of the match awards went to David CRAIGIE in the backs and Oliver COOK in the forwards. David CRAIGIE was excellent in both attack and defence putting in some good runs and good tackling throughout. In the case of Oliver COOK, this young player is growing in stature as the season progresses and is now an integral part of the 2nd xv pack. His confidence has grown in leaps and bounds and his work ethic is excellent. That said, COOKIE, dont let this go to your head!!! Keep your feet firmly on the ground as I am sure that there is even better to come if you continue in your development.



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