Match Report
Heath RUFC (16) vs Yarnbury (13)
Saturday 3 January 2009
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New Year - First League Win!

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd xv entertained 4th placed Yarnbury in the first league game of 2009, on a cold, dry afternoon in West Vale. The selected side looked very strong on paper and hopes were high for a good performance. The home side got the game underway, playing towards the river ,and Heath then took the early initiative and had good territorial advantage, Yarnbury being pegged back inside their own half. The backs were provided with good ball from the pack and were attempting to run it whenever possible. The forwards were winning their own ball in the tight and putting the Yarnbury lineout under pressure but they were met by a good Yarnbury defence. However, the home side gained their reward in the 15th minute when Yarnbury were penalised for offside some 25 metres out and prop, Oliver COOK, made no mistake with the resulting kick. 3-0. From the kick off, second row, Craig AMBLER took the ball and made ground before offloading. It was then passed down the line to centre, Martin WHITE, who made an excellent break taking Heath back into the opposition half once more. The home side was still dominant but was coming under increasing pressure in the set scrums. After 25 minutes, they were able to increase their lead. The Yarnbury skipper was penalised for ‘holding-on’ on halfway. He disputed the decison not once but twice thus taking the penalty a further 20 metres nearer the Yarnbury line. This brought the kick within Oliver COOKs’ reach and he punished the Yarnbury captain's lack of discipline. 6-0. Again, Heath continued to hold the upperhand with Yarnbury only getting out of their own half occasionally. The home scrum was under increasing pressure and this was allowing Yarnbury to gain possession and get back into the game. That said, the home line was not put under any real pressure until the 39th minute when the Yarnbury centre made a good break and the ball was held up over the line by the Heath defence. From the resulting 5 metre scrum, the Heath defence went to sleep momentarily allowing a 2 to 1 overlap on the blind side which resulted in the right winger scoring an unconverted try in the corner. 6-5. The half time whistle followed shortly afterwards. The Heath pack was reshuffled at the interval. Oliver COOK went into the second row; Jack HANSON went into the back row; Oliver WILBY went to hooker and Dave MONTGOMERY moved over from hooker to prop in an attempt to stabalise the scrummage. Heath continued in the same vein as the vast majority of the first half taking the game to their opposition. From a scrum on halfway, scrum half Charlie LOMAS made an excellent break down the blind side before passing to left winger, Colin HEWISON, who made further ground taking play into the Yarnbury ‘22’. Oliver COOK was replaced in the second row by skipper, Karl RABY and Heath had an opportunity to increase their lead after 53 minutes when they were awarded a penalty some 30 metres out. However, winger, Mick GLEESON, pulled the kick to the left of the posts and the scoreline remained 6-5. After 59 minutes, centre Dave CRAIGIE was replaced by Martin SHAW. At this stage, the home side were looking comfortable but a one point advantage was always going to be precarious. This proved to be the case in the 64th minute when the outstanding Yarnbury centre made an excellent break from well inside his own half. He was able to brush aside two attempted tackles and was stopped just short of the Heath line. However, the left winger was up in support and he was able to pick up the ball and place it over the try line for an unconverted try. 6-10. After 67 minutes, Yarnbury extended their lead when Craig AMBLER was penalised for ‘lying on’ in the tackle and the kicker made no mistake. 6-13. Heath now needed to continue playing as they had throughout the game and keep up their heads. Matters looked ominous when Yarnbury appeared to be gaining the upperhand but, to their credit, the Heath boys stuck to their task and took play back to Yarnbury. Heath turned over the ball on halfway and made good ground up to the Yarnbury ‘22’. Charlie LOMAS was tackled on the ‘22’ but was able to offload to the supporting Martin PARKER who sprinted over the line to score some 8 metres to the side of the posts. Mick GLEESON was able to convert. 13-13 after 73 minutes. From the kick off, Heath made their way back into the Yarnbury half and their efforts were rewarded with the awarding of a penalty under the posts some 18 metres out. Again, Mick GLEESON made no mistake. 16-13 after 75 minutes. For the remaining minutes, the home line was never put under pressure from Yarnbury, due to the excellent defence and attacking-minded intentions of the home side, and the referee Rodney LOWE brought the game to an end for Heath to register their first league win of the season. As stated above, this was the first league victory of the season experienced by the second team. It was extremely well deserved and even after falling behind in the second half, they continued to play with confidence and reaped their rewards. With almost 40 players turning out for the 2nd and 3rd xv this Saturday, let’s hope that this is a sign of how things are going to pan out for the second half of the season. All 17 lads who represented the 2nd xv this weekend played their part in a superb victory but man of the match awards go to Charlie LOMAS and Dave MONTGOMERY. Charlie formed an excellent link between forwards and backs and on numerous occasions showed his tactical, positional nous covering for his colleagues. He also set his stall out early doors when he met the blind side flanker head-on , picked him up in the tackle and dumped him on his back some 5 metres back. Dave MONTGOMERY had an excellent game in the tight with his throwing-in at the line out being supremely accurate. He is a strong lad who takes the ball up well in the loose and he even volunteered his services as prop where he performed creditably. Once again, well done, boys. Let’s hope this is the springboard for an improvement in results for the rest of the season.



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