Match Report
Heath RUFC (10) vs Moortown RUFC (24)
Saturday 20 February 2010
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A Loss but some good performances.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nd xv played hosts to their Moortown counterparts in a league game played in excellent conditions on a sunny, cool afternoon. It was Heath who got the game underway but immediately put themselves on the back foot when the kick did not travel the requisite 10 metres. The first 10 minutes was fairly even but it was Moortown who created the first scoring opportunity. Outside half, Mick GLEESON, kicked deep into the Moortown ‘22’ and the full back ran the ball back with interest to the halfway line before passing inside. The ball continued to be passed down the line at pace and only an excellent cover tackle from right winger, Martyn BARNES, some 5 metres from the home line prevented a score. Play continued to be even with the Heath defence standing firm. Also, one particular run from centre Chris MERRICK was a pleasure to behold. He took the ball and ran at his opposite number dipping his shoulder and catching the centre full on and knocking him back yards. This seemed to get the home boys going. However, it was Moortown who opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when they made a break down the right side and full back, Matthew COOK, was left with 2 men in front of him. The centre then passed the ball to the winger who scored under the posts for a converted try. 0 – 7 Heath came back at their opponents and were awarded a penalty some 25 metres out in front of the posts. Matthew COOK made no mistake. 3 – 7 after 26 minutes. Things were looking promising as the pack was taking their own ball in the scrums and had taken a couple against the head and gaining reasonable possession from line outs. A couple of minutes later, Moortown increased their lead when the centre got the ball on the right. There appeared to be no danger but he then just ran straight past 2-3 Heath defenders to score a try under the posts. The conversion was successful. 3 – 14 after 28 minutes. Heath were playing with the sun in their faces in the first half and the high kicks were being dealt with well by their defence. One example sticks out particularly. In the 37th minute, the Moortown outside half put up the high kick and Martyn BARNES found himself jumping for the ball with 4 Moortown players in close proximity. Spilling the ball could have been very costly, but BARNESY not only took the ball clean and called for the ‘mark’, he then showed quick-thinking by taking the free kick quickly. He was tackled almost immediately leading to the awarding of a further free kick for not retiring 10 metres which then ensured Heath were able to clear their lines. There was no further addition to the score before the referee brought an end to the first half. At half time, Brook WARD replaced Steve RICHARDSON in the back row and Gary PIDGEON came on for scrum half, Tom COLLINGE who was still feeling the after effects of a stomach bug. Heath took the game to the opposition at the start of the second period and were looking dangerous. Flanker Richard DANCE left the field with a shoulder injury to be replaced by Martin WHITE who moved to centre with Chris MERRICK moving into the back row. Heath were rewarded for their pressure when they kicked to the corner for an attacking line out from a penalty. The ball was taken by Joe SHIPMAN and the pack drove the maul forwards with control and a try was awarded when the maul collapsed over the line. Prop Oliver COOK was the scorer of the try which was superbly converted from the touchline by younger brother, Matthew. 10 – 14 after 49 minutes and everything to play for. Heath continued to exert pressure on Moortown with most of the play now taking place in the opposition half but they were unable to make the pressure count with further points. After 64 minutes, a melee took place, the result of which saw the sin-binning of Chris MERRICK for foul play. This would now make it even harder for the home side to reduce the deficit. Shortly afterwards, Riz MUGHAL replaced Martyn BARNES on the right wing. Moortown then gained a foothold in the home ‘22’ and put pressure on the home line. However, second row Martin PARKER did some sterling work when the ball came out of the back of the Moortown ruck at speed and he scrambled to the ball which he was able to secure and present back for his support. Unfortunately, a retiring Moortown forward kicked the ball to his scrum half from an offside position on the blind side, the ball was passed down the line ending with a score some 15 metres in. The conversion was unsuccessful. 10 – 19 after 72 minutes. Chris MERRICK returned shortly afterwards to boost then home side back up to 15. However, it was Moortown who increased their lead after 79 minutes when the centre ran a good line to score a further unconverted try near the corner flag. 10 – 24. There was still time for Heath to make headway into the Moortown ‘22’ where they were awarded a penalty. Chris MERRICK took a quick tap and was then felled with a cynical stiff arm around his chin from the Moortown flanker who received a red card from referee, Neil CLARKE. The game then came to an end. Final score 10 – 24. This was a game which the home side were more than capable of winning but they were just not able to breach the Moortown defence further in the period after getting back within striking distance at 10 – 14. This was a good performance by the Heath lads who showed commitment throughout and the scoreline was somewhat flattering towards the opposition. That said, they did score 4 tries to our 1. Man of the Match awards go to young COOKIE at full back who dealt with the high ball well and put in some good relieving kicks to touch. He also entered the backline in the second half running an excellent line, which allowed him to break the Moortown defence. Also, to keep it in the family, older brother, Oliver, who was struggling with a shoulder injury from early in the game put in a good performance with some good tackles, a try and being part of a front row who took 5 against the head.



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