Match Report
Heath RUFC (24) vs Huddersfield RUFC (17)
Saturday 2 December 2006
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Seconds continue their winning ways.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nds. After their week off due to the cancelled game against North Ribblesdale last Saturday, Heath were looking forward to the home game against Huddersfield 3rds. Directly from the Huddersfield kick off, a lack of communication in the forwards lead to an attacking line out which then provided the visitors with an opportunity to take the lead from a kickable penalty when the Heath back line was offside at the line out. Fortunately, the outside half missed the target. Heath then had their opportunity to open their account from a penalty some 40 metres out but this was missed also. Heath did open the scoring though, in the 10th minute, when a probing kick from outside half, Andy WHITE forced the opposition to concede a 5m scrum. Although this was wheeled at speed, scrum half, Gareth OWEN, picked up well and scored a try in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed. 5-0. Heath were not playing with any consistency and were punished in the 18th minute when, from a line out on the home “22”, the visiting number 8 made good ground before being held. However, the Huddersfield pack was quick in support and the maul was driven over the line and the try scored by the visiting captain and hooker. The conversion was missed.5-5. However, the home teams’ play continued to be scrappy and it took until 25 minutes into the game before they eventually started to play the style of rugby that they had been playing all season. Some good kicking by Andy WHITE, good passing movements in the backs and excellent “pick up and drives” at speed by the forwards put the Huddersfield defence under increasing pressure. Eventually, after 28 minutes, Heath took the lead once more when Andy WHITE made a good break into the Huddersfield “22”. The ball was transferred through 2-3 pairs of hands before it found its way to right wing, Darren FERMOYLE, to score an unconverted try in the corner. 10-5. From the kick off, Heath immediately took play back into the Huddersfield half and shortly afterwards, inside centre, Martin SHAW, received the ball some 35metres out and scored one of his trademark tries when he knocked over several opponents before placing the ball over the line. Oliver COOK kicked a very good conversion. 17-5. A penalty attempt by Oliver COOK was missed shortly afterwards. Half time. It was hoped that the second half would continue in the same vein as the last 15 minutes of the first half. Play was even for the first 5 minutes before Heath began to exert pressure on the opponent’s line. A kickable penalty was turned down by Heath and the subsequent quick tap lead to a line out only. From this, Oliver COOK was taken out in mid air and he fell heavily onto the ground on his back. This looked to be a serious injury but, fortunately, after a few minutes, he was able to leave the field of play under his own steam. As a result, the Huddersfield hooker was given 10 minutes in the “sin bin”. Replacement, Nigel ROYSTON then entered the fray. Pressure was maintained on the opponents line and from an attacking 5m scrum, Huddersfield could not prevent the Heath pack driving forward and they had to revert to deliberate transgressions of the laws conceding a penalty try in the process. The conversion was kicked by Andy WHITE. 24-5. Heath now needed to turn the screw and ram home their advantage. However, it was Huddersfield who scored the next points when, after 2 quickly conceded penalties, their number 8 took the ball on a front peel from a line out 10 metres out and forced his way over in the corner for an unconverted try. 24-10. Heath could not maintain any intense pressure on their opponents and poor passing, bad handling and poor decision-making kept Huddersfield in the game. Steve PULLAN replaced outside centre, David CRAIGIE and the Huddersfield hooker returned from his yellow card. Play continued to be scrappy and Huddersfield were still in the contest but good Heath defence was keeping their line intact. John DENWOOD replaced full back, Rob OWEN. After 72 minutes Huddersfield were awarded a penalty try. The Heath defence had been put under considerable pressure but they had managed to keep the visitors out. However, at a ruck on the try line, which had come to a halt, a Heath defender unnecessarily went to pick up the ball and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the score. The conversion was kicked. 24-17. This was going to be a testing last 8 minutes with the Huddersfield tails up. For the last few minutes, penalties were conceded and Huddersfield pressed for the try that would give them a chance to draw the game. However, the Heath defence was very strong and their determination not to allow any further scoring was rewarded with the referee’s whistle being blown for “no side” after play had broken down 5 metres from the Heath line. Heath made very hard work of this game and although Huddersfield provided testing opposition then this was mainly due to Heaths’ inability to maintain any consistent pressure and poor general attacking play. This let Huddersfield always have an interest in the game when they should have been “killed off” at 24-5. The plus to come out of this game was the defence which, as has been the case all season, was excellent particularly in the last 8 minutes when the boys were put under tremendous pressure. Basic ball handling skills and concentration levels, particularly when in possession of the ball , have to drastically improved before next week’s visit to Roundhegians who currently top the Merit Table. This will provide Heath with a stern test but I am confident that the boys will rise to the occasion. Man of the match awards went to Darren FERMOYLE for a consistent, good performance and Mark WARRENDER who, as usual, was everywhere doing the dirty work and supporting his team-mates and who was denied a try when the referee awarded a penalty try, just as he was about to pick the ball up and place it over the line-------or drop it, one of the two!!!!
Bash scores.
Clean take by Olly Cook.



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