Match Report
Cleckheaton RUFC (12) vs Heath RUFC (36)
Saturday 28 October 2006
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MATCH STATISTICS
Tries
6
Drop Goals
0
Penalty Tries
0
Penalty Goals
0
Conversions
3
Attendance
30

The Seconds go rolling on.........

Reporter: Spud Taylor
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nds. Heath made the short trip to Cleckheaton to play their opponents 3rd xv on the school pitch at Whitcliffe Mount, rather than the 1st xv pitch at Moor End which was waterlogged. Cleckheaton kicked off up the slight slope with the wind blowing directly across the pitch. The home side used their big pack well in the early stages to secure ball and gain ground. However, it was against the run of play when, in the 11th minute, centre Simon BROWN stripped the opposition of the ball and it was then passed initially to Michael STEAD who transferred it to centre, Andy WHITE, to run 65 yards to open the scoring near to the posts. The try was converted by Martin SHAW to give Heath the lead by 7-0. Cleckheaton immediately came back at Heath and it was obvious that their intent was to keep the ball well and truly in the forwards, which they managed to do. The Heath cause was not helped by a relatively high penalty count going against them, whilst their counterparts appeared to be “playing the laws to the limits” yet not conceding penalties. The pressure grew and after a period of excellent defence by the Heath boys, the Cleckheaton forwards “sucked in” the Heath defence allowing the ball to be transferred down the line for the full back to enter the line and score an unconverted try near to the corner flag. The conversion was missed and the score was 7-5 after 32 minutes. Michael STEAD then had to leave the field with a facial injury to be replaced by Oliver COOK. Heath then showed their mettle and moved the ball downfield where the forwards won good 3rd phase possession before the ball was moved down the line where left winger, Gavin WIGGINS, took the ball at pace and albeit he almost had his head taken off whilst stepping inside the opposition centre, he was able to put the ball down over the line for an unconverted try to give Heath a lead of 12-5 after 37 minutes. However, the Cleckheaton pack kept the ball tight for the last minutes of the half and after a chip through from the right winger, the full back picked-up the ball and managed to place it over the try line for a try which was converted to give a half time score of 12-12. Heath knew that they had to continue to play the same style of rugby as had been played in the first half and to play in their opponents half by the use of astute kicking, good forwards driving play and using their backs when appropriate. This is exactly what they did. After 43 minutes, the ball was well won by the forwards and the ball was passed down the line with Simon BROWN doing a runaround with fellow centre, Andy WHITE who delayed his superb pass back to BROWN who transferred the ball to Gavin WIGGINS who had the strength and pace to scorer a try in the corner. Although the conversion was missed, the score was now 17-12 and Heath had shown their intentions. All of the play was now taking place in the Cleckheaton half and the Heath boys were winning turnover ball and keeping possession for long periods of play. In the 60th minute, their dominance was rewarded with a try when Chris MERRICK made a good break near to the opponents line and when tackled, he managed to offload to the supporting Mark WARRENDER who scored near to the posts allowing Gavin WIGGINS to convert to increase the lead to 24-12. Within 3 minutes, the lead was increased when the ball was secured by the forwards and scrum half, Tom COLLINGE, got his back line moving. Simon BROWN took the ball at pace and beat 2-3 opponents before kicking over the full back and winning the chase to the line to score a superb try. Although the conversion was missed in the difficult circumstances, the lead was now 29-12 and the home team did not appear to have anymore to give. Apart from the odd foray into the Heath half, the game continued to be played in home territory. The Heath boys kept their foot on the pedal and ensured that, through excellent kicking and retention of possession, the only team likely to add to their total was Heath. With the clock ticking down, it was left to outside half, Martin SHAW, to receive the ball from an attacking scrum just outside the Cleckheaton “22” and use his strength to beat several opponents and just manage to plant the ball on the line for an excellent solo effort. The try was well converted by Oliver COOK. The score was now 36-12 and the referee blew his whistle shortly afterwards for “No side”. This was another good win for the Heath 2nd xv who showed their mettle and fighting qualities throughout but particularly in the second half when they could well have been up against it but ensured that another win was gained. For the first few games of the season, Heath were finding themselves well in front at the interval but the last 3 games have been such that they have entered the second period in the knowledge that they would be up against it in the second half holding a narrow lead at most. The boys have now get their heads around the fact that they have to be patient, and not get frustrated, knowing full well that there is the ability and fighting spirit within the team, to be able to win the game. Man of the match awards went to wing forward, Mark MATTOCK, who had an excellent game in both attack and defence and Tom COLLINGE who appears to be growing in confidence with each game he plays establishing himself as a reliable, fast improving scrum half.


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