Match Report
Heath RUFC (16) vs Wharfedale RUFC (7)
Saturday 30 December 2006
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Seconds still winners.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nds. After a weeks’ break, the 2nd XV resumed their season with a home game against a Wharfedale XV, who had defeated the home side in the opening game of the season at Wharfedale. The game was played on a dull, showery afternoon in front of a sizeable crowd. Wharfedale got the game in motion and from the start, the ball was kicked to touch by Heath giving the away side an early attacking platform on the home “22”. Play was then concentrated for almost 10 minutes in and around the Heath “22” but Wharfedale could not make their pressure tell - due to some excellent defence by Heath. The home side then had a spell of attacking play, but they were also met by a solid defence. However, the stalemate was broken in the 16th minute when Heath were awarded a penalty 40 metres out directly in front of the posts. Outside half, Martin SHAW converted to give Heath a 3-0 lead. The Heath pack was being put under pressure by the Wharfedale “8” in both set pieces and open play and had to dig deep to prevent their opponents gaining the upper hand. Wharfedale had a good spell forcing Heath back towards their line and they were awarded an attacking 5-metre scrum from which the captain and number 8 scored a pushover try. The conversion was successful. 3-7 after 23 minutes. Signs were looking slightly ominous at this point, as the home side had been regularly spilling ball and also losing turnover ball to their counterparts. Right winger, Darren FERMOYLE, then made an excellent, mazy run from his own “22” into the Wharfedale half and this then seemed to inspire his team mates into raising their game. Martin SHAW left the field with a leg injury and he was replaced by colt, Matthew HALLETT who played scrum half with Tom COLLINGE moving out to take over the outside half berth. Tom COLLINGE was being provided with some excellent ball by young HALLETT and he made two very similar breaks in quick succession but unfortunately the pass went to ground and the opportunity to add to their tally was lost. From another similar break, the ball was taken on by wing forward, Mark MATTOCK. He took this to within 15 metres before offloading to the supporting Michael STEAD who was unable to control it, with the line at his mercy. However, Heaths’ pressure was rewarded in the 39th minute with the award of a penalty, which was converted by Darren FERMOYLE to give a half time score of 6-7. Heath went into the interval in the knowledge that try-scoring chances had been created and with improved handling and distribution in the second half, further scoring opportunities would present themselves. Roger HAMMOND entered the fray replacing fellow prop, Rick CARTER. Heath kicked off and immediately won an attacking line out some 30 metres out. Wharfedale conceded a penalty from the line but the attempt at goal by Darren FERMOYLE was just wide. Shortly afterwards, Michael STEAD was replaced by Oliver COOK who continued to provide supply of ball from the lineouts. Play was concentrated totally in the opponents half now, as the home side built momentum and kept their opponents under the cosh with some good tactical kicking from the half back pairing of Tom COLLINGE and Matthew HALLETT. However, handling errors in the wet conditions continued and the home side were unable to regain the lead. Centre John DENWOOD was then replaced by GAVIN WIGGINS. Darren FERMOYLE then made another couple of jinking runs which kept the opponents pegged back in their “22” and patience was now the key as the home side were dominating. Heath were awarded a penalty from a line out offence in the 62nd minute but, again, the attempt at goal by Darren FERMOYLE was unsuccessful. Hooker Rick PAINTER then left the field to be replaced by Rick CARTER. The pressure continued and Wharfedale’ s only real response was to kick deep but the ball was run back with interest by Gavin WIGGINS and left winger, Rob OWEN, keeping the away side in their own half. Time was beginning to run out and Wharfedale then enjoyed their only attacking period of the second half. They were awarded a penalty. The kick at goal was turned down and the ball was kicked into the corner for an attacking line out. This was defended by the home pack and play was then moved back downfield. Captain Emlyn JAMES then left the field to be replaced by colt, Matthew BAXENDALE, whose first immediate contribution was to chase a kick and put the Wharfedale right-winger to ground unceremoniously. In the 77th minute, Heaths’ patience was finally rewarded. Darren FERMOYLE made yet another one of his penetrative runs which took him to within 5 metres of the Wharfedale line before he was brought to ground. The ball was made available and an unfortunate retreating Wharfedale defender was only able to strike the ball over his own line, where Tom COLLINGE was first to pounce on the loose ball for a try given by the referee, Glen COCKROFT, who was in an excellent position to award the score. The conversion was put over by Darren FERMOYLE to give Heath a 13-7 lead to the delight of both players and spectators alike. From the kick off, Heath controlled possession for the last few minutes of play. In the 80th minute, they were awarded a penalty for not releasing in the tackle. Oliver COOK then stepped up to take a kick at goal from 30 metres out and only 10 metres in from the touchline. He struck the ball superbly and it sailed through the middle of the posts. The whistle then went for “No side” to signal a hard-earned 16-7 victory for the Heath boys. Although mistakes had been made by the home side, their overall performance has to be applauded. The boys played with superb effort, determination and patience throughout. In the last 3 games, they have been involved in 3 very tight, hard games where they have had to come from behind to win. This is typical of the “will to win” attitude and fighting spirit of the boys, which has been evident throughout the season. Man of the match awards were given to Dave “Lofty” FREEMAN for the forwards. This was his first full game for quite some time now after suffering a career-threatening shoulder injury some 18 months since. He has played 2 half games for the 2nd xv but he showed in this game that he has the ability to make an impact at the club. The backs man of the match went to Matthew HALLETT. His distribution to Tom COLLINGE was excellent, his tactical kicking was good and his sniping around the scrum and rucks was pleasing to the eye. He is a confident youngster who is a great asset to the club. For those of you who are not aware of the Man of the Match awards, each player receives the gift of a pint of beer and it is a race between both to see who can down it quickest. On this occasion, the schoolboy well and truly beat his older mate!! Sorry, Lofty but nice to see young Matthew is keeping up the Heath tradition!! A couple of thank yous must be given. Firstly, on behalf of the boys, I would like to thank all the people who turned out on a poor Saturday afternoon to give their encouraging vocal support to the team, lifting the players in the process. Secondly, it was noted late on that no arrangements had been made to provide teas to the players and spectators after the game. Garf and Jimmy FARRELL went and bought the food, prepared it and served it. Garf and Jim, thank you both very much. (There was nowt wrong with the sausages, Garf). Last but not least, I would like to wish everyone connected with Heath RUFC a very happy and successful 2007. See you next year!!
The Ball's out.
Where is it?
Jim saves the day!



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