Match Report
Heath RUFC (19) vs Ilkley 3rd XV (10)
Saturday 1 October 2016
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2nds Keep on Winning.

Reporter: Steve Dawes
Dated: 30 November -0001
Team: 1. O Cook 2. Hammond 3. Morley 4. Szadby 5. Day 6. Dawes 7. Wilkinson 8.Owen 9. Reynolds 10. Cole © 11. M Cook 12 Cockroft 13 Bruce 14 Saltonstall 15 Collinge Replacements: Burbridge,Sidebottom,Bull Heath 2nds march on despite Injuries and last minute withdrawals. The Game against Ilkley was always going to be a sterner test than the previous two fixtures in the Merit Table, but a combination of Injuries and players not being available made it an even more tougher challenge. Ilkely’s experienced pack, had shown in previous encounters, that they were not likely to be pushed around, but Heaths forwards were dealt a further blow when experienced stalwart, Kerr, was called into the first team late on Saturday morning. Morley stepped up from the bench, to prove himself more than an adequate replacement and several forwards played in unfamiliar position. Cockcroft started on his debut and the bench was filled also. The conditions were bright but cold, and Heath kicked off slightly uphill for the first half. Early exchanges were equal, with Ilkely showing early dominance in the pack due to extra weight and experience, Heath seemed to be showing a slight dominance in the back line though. Heath began to press and an early penalty for obstruction on a kick through was taken quickly by Cole and spread wide, the ball eventually made its way to Reynolds who span through for a well worked early score, just to the right of the posts. Cole slotted home the conversion to move the score to 7-0 Ilkely restarted the game and made the most of several moments of indiscipline from Heath, to put pressure on the Heath line. Heath were starting to let their emotions get the better of themselves to their detriment and Ilkely showed their wealth of experience by making the most of their chances. Cockcroft was forced to kick the ball dead from his own try line, but the ball was cleared from the scrum, and then in a similar incident a wild pass back into the try area was kicked dead by Cole. From this 2nd 5m Scrum, Ilkely made no mistake and they crossed near to the posts, although they missed the easy conversion, 7 -5. Heath kicked off and tried to keep the ball in their opponents 22. Good drives by Cook and Owen supported by Dawes and Day made gains, but Ilkely managed to clear each time. A further drive was halted when Heath conceded a penalty for hands in, and the ball was cleared but failed to find touch and Collinge setup another attack via Cook and Bruce, this was halted by a knock on when hitting contact. Heath manage to hold the scrum and a great tackle by Cook and Dawes forced a penalty against Ilkley for holding on. This was taken quickly forcing Ilkely offside but the 2nd penalty was knocked on when spread wide, the Referee blew for half time. Half Time Heath lead 7-5 Coach Baxter did not make any changes at Half time due to the match being finely balanced, but urged Heath to maintain discipline and not to give silly penalties away. Ilkely kicked off up the slight slope and immediately forced a lineout, again Heath gave ground when a penalty for jumping through was increased for backchat, Heath managed to clear the resultant lineout and they themselves then made ground into Ilkelys half through two quick penalties. An attack instigated by Collinge released Bruce, but when he hit contact the Ref blew for an Injury to an Ilkely forward that luckily did not prove to be too serious. The game was restarted with a Heath Scrum, but Reynolds was penalised for feeding turning the ball over to their opponents again. Again the ball failed to find touch and the ball was hacked through for Bruce to chase, he unluckily knocked on when trying to collect the ball, but Ilkley were deemed to knocked on earlier and Heath were awarded a scrum back in their own half. This produced the move of the match, the ball was picked up by O Cook who passed to M Cook, this was cleverly sent to Owen who found space down the wing, the ball was collected by Wilkinson who span through for a try. Cole missed the difficult conversion so the score moved to 12-5. Ilkely came back strongly once again, and put pressure on the Heath pack, and forced a lineout close to the line, they secured the ball and scrambled another attempt over out wide, with the conversion missed the score remained close at 12-10. Heath tried again to regain some dominance, a couple of penalties for holding on and then a lineout infringement gave them good field position, a Wilkinson penalty for holding on gave them little respite and Heath turned over the lineout using the backs to advance once again. Several further runs by Collinge, M Cook and Day caused hurried clearances from Ilkely but without metres gained. Heath kept on the pressure and they looked the more likely to score. Taking the ball back into the forwards, O Cook found himself clear and manage to score a well-deserved try under the posts leaving Cole with an easy kick to move the scores out to 19-10. Heath secured the ball from kick off and Dawes and Cook again made drives, they were stopped by a penalty for playing the ball on the floor, but the kick once again failed to make touch. With Heath searching for a bonus point, Saltonstall was unlucky to knock on a kick through just before the line, and the ref blew for time. This was a great game played in a very good spirit, the Heath Pack performed well despite being unfamiliar with each other, and Ilkely showed their great experience in keeping the score so close for most of the match. This will prove good experience for the team and will stand them in good stead in some tough games to come. With several experienced team members nearing a return, strength in depth will be of more importance. Cockroft and Morley had great matches respectively and Bruce is starting to show pace and power outwide. Special mention should also go out to Bull, Burbridge and Sidebottom, who were unused subs due to the tight nature of the match. They will no doubt get their chance, and their support of their team mates was noted through helping in warmups etc. Well done lads Full time Heath win 19-10



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