Match Report
Sheffield RUFC (7) vs Heath RUFC (29)
Saturday 31 January 2009
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80 minutes hard graft.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd xv travelled to South Yorkshire to take on their Sheffield counterparts in a League game. The game was a played on a soft, sandy surface on a fine, but cold, afternoon. Sheffield got the game underway with a slight breeze behind them. The home side took a foothold in the Heath half but they were met by a determined defence and they were finding it difficult to make ground and openings. After a couple of rolling mauls near the Heath line, the ball was driven over by the prop who was held up by wing forward, Martin PARKER for an attacking 5 metre scrum. Heath withstood the pressure and cleared their lines. The determination was typified shortly afterwards when first, right winger, Steve CROMIE, got up quickly on the outside centre forcing him to knock on and then centre, Martin WHITE did likewise when he knocked his opposite number backwards. The Heath boys were getting up into the faces of Sheffield forcing both handling errors and also penalty indiscretions in an excellent defensive display. However, the stalemate was broken after 17 minutes in a disappointing fashion. The Sheffield backs moved the ball along the line and a crossing movement followed. At this, footballesqe, the Heath side appealed to the referee and stopped playing allowing the outside centre to stroll under the posts. The conversion was successful. 0-7. Within 2 minutes, Sheffield had increased their lead. They were awarded a penalty on halfway. A kick to touch followed and from the subsequent lineout in the Heath ‘22’, the Sheffield forwards took the ball to the line. The ball carrier was tackled just short of the line and as he went to place the ball down, he lost possession of it. However, the referee was on the blind side and awarded a try. Conversion missed. 0-12. Heath dug in and continued to frustrate their opponents. After half an hour, though, the impressive outside centre took the ball and skipped through the Heath defence to score under the posts. Conversion successful. 0-19. Gaps were beginning to appear in the Heath defence and the tackling stint was taking its toll. After 36 minutes, the home side scored a further try at the side of the posts. The easy conversion was missed.0-24. Half time then followed with no further addition to the score. Skipper Karl RABY then replaced Michael STEAD in the second row. The second half started in the same vein as the first with Sheffield pressing. However, the Heath defence was resolute and the Sheffield outside half resorted to attempting a drop kick which sailed wide. After 54 minutes, play came to a halt and it was like a scene from the Alamo!!! Four Heath players were flat out on the ground. After a long stoppage, all were able to continue apart from number 8, Chris HAIGH,who had to leave the field with a nasty-looking wound to his chin. Michael STEAD then returned to the field. After 58 minutes, the ball was passed down the line to the Sheffield left winger who scored an unconverted try in the corner. 0-29. Heath continued to show excellent determination and more was then seen of them as an attacking force. The backs were stringing together some good passages of play and the forwards were taking the game to the opposition pack. From one scrum, Karl RABY picked up and ran with strength at the opposition. He made a good 20 metres. Winger Colin HEWISON went in to assist to retain the ball which was then passed down the line and the Heath lads were rewarded by the awarding of a penalty in the home ‘22’. The Sheffield replacement second row was sin binned for his part. The ball was kicked to touch and although the forwards battered the home line for a couple of minutes they were unable to cross the whitewash and Sheffield cleared downfield. After 3-4 minutes, the Sheffield player was waved back onto the pitch. Heath continued to dominate proceedings and they were able to return to the Sheffield ‘22’. Deep into injury time, Dave COTTON-BETTERIDGE took the ball forward. The ball was driven on by the pack and when it came out loosely, on the blind side, Martin PARKER retrieved it and drove it in once more. The ball then came out to Karl RABY who forced his way over the line for a well-deserved try. Oliver COOK was successful with the conversion from the touchline and the referee then blew for ‘no side’. Final score 7-29. Overall, this was a very good performance by the Heath boys. They stuck to their task for 80 minutes and got their just rewards with the try at the end of the match. Man of the match awards went to second row, Daz TERRY, who put in a good tackling stint and centre, Martin WHITE, who made good ground and also put in some trademark ‘big hits’. For info, Chris HAIGH has had 7 stitches put in his facial wound and is likely to be out for several weeks.



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