Match Report
Heath RUFC (54) vs Knottingley RUFC (13)
Saturday 2 April 2011
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Excellent running performance brings victory.

Reporter: Ian Rushworth: Courtesy Halifax Courier.
Dated: 30 November -0001
HEATH are homing in on a highest-ever third place finish in Yorkshire One after their thoroughbred backs made the most of good to firm going at sunny North Dean on Saturday. They made light of four enforced changes - including a late one when fullback Luke Clogher had to work - to run in eight tries and notch their second biggest win of the season, after the 58-9 home success over Dinnington on October 16. Their third fly-half of the campaign, Matt Hallett, revelled in his new role with two fine individual tries as Heath built a 21-6 lead inside half an hour to stamp their authority. Leading scorer Hallett added seven conversions and the spark he provided in attack plus some vital tackles made him the game’s star performer. Martin Moana and Jarrod Morris, arguably Calderdale’s best rugby union centre combination, touched down twice and once respectively, while replacement prop Olly Cook, blindside Dave Montgomery and returning winger Matt Baxendale also got on the scoresheet. The game was in complete contrast to the try-less first meeting between the sides this season, which Kevin Plant’s men won 6-0. While coach Plant felt his side hadn’t been as dominant in the set piece as in the previous couple of games, he thought the favourable conditions had suited the free-flowing style of his threequarters. It took only three minutes for Heath, who had drafted in Neil Francis on the wing with Si Brown dropping to fullback, to bag their first try. After a solid scrum, the Knottingley defence was stretched this way and that before Moana provided the pass for Morris to touch down. Hallett converted but Knottingley pulled back three points with a sixth minute penalty from their scrum half Dave Evans, whose excellent left-footed kicking proved the visitors’ best way of making ground in the first half. A fine Heath move almost produced a try for Baxendale, who was tackled into the corner flag, and then scrum half Gary Pidgeon’s chip and regather led to lock Danny Nolan going to ground with an overlap outside him. Evans cut the deficit to one point with a drop goal before Hallett cashed in on good work from the impressive Dave Montgomery, breezing past two defenders for a 19th minute try he converted himself. More nifty footwork from the fly-half 10 minutes later, in a 40 metre run, yielded another seven points and Heath were firmly in command. It stayed that way up to half time, Evans miscuing an ambitious long-distance penalty attempt for a Knottingley side which won plenty of lineout possession through No 8 Andrew Lund, but made little progress with ball in hand. Hallett’s kick almost produced a try for Brown, who was tackled a couple of metres short of the line, at the start of the second half. However, the four-try bonus point was secured by Moana on 48 minutes after the backs had made good progress following prop Chris Moore’s quick tap penalty from near half way. The kick was missed but Heath led 26-6. Knottingley had a territorial advantage for most of the next 20 minutes as Heath appeared to lose concentration in the warm conditions. Left winger Jamie Liversedge dropped the ball with the line in sight but, in the middle of the visitors’ best spell, Heath broke away through the strong-running Morris and big Ian Downsborough, Cook plunging over following the next ruck. Hallett’s kick made it 33-6 on 52 minutes. A forward pass - there might have been two - foiled Knottingley wide on the left and the home side, starting to look ragged, switched Downsborough to his usual No 8 role to tidy up their scrum possession. Knottingley were eventually reduced to 14 men by injuries and the home side took full advantage with three converted tries in the closing 10 minutes. Moana swatted off the last defender on an excellent run from close to half-way but after that score Knottingley at last got over the Heath line on 74 minutes, replacement Sean Wooley emerging with the ball from a heap of players. Evans converted to make it 40-13. However, Hallett broke through again and popped up a pass for Montgomery to finish and Baxendale rounded off more good handling when he crossed wide on the left before cutting in towards the posts.



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Stainland Rd

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