Match Report
Dinnington (20) vs Heath RUFC (20)
Saturday 3 February 2007
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Heath 2nds draw away.

Reporter: Spud Taylor.
Dated: 30 November -0001
Heath 2nds. Heath continued in the bid to maintain their lead at the top of the Merit Table with an away fixture against Dinnington. Their cause was not helped by the withdrawal of 5 of the original selected 15 and also, the unfortunate breaking down of one of the boys’ cars on route. This led to the Heath side arriving some 25 minutes before kick off, allowing for a brief “warm-up” only before the game commenced. Heath kicked off playing up the slight slope in cool, sunny conditions. They put themselves under immediate pressure when a forward was offside at the kick off and Dinnington were awarded the scrum on halfway. This led to a period of pressure from the home side, that Heath appeared to have dealt with. However, after only 4 minutes, the ball was picked up by full back, Mick GLEESON, and his attempted clearance from within the “22” was charged down and the Dinnington centre then picked up to score an unconverted try in the corner. 0-5. The Heath forwards then began to gain the upper hand over their opposite numbers and they drove their way up to the home “22” where they were awarded a penalty some 8 metres from the line. A quick tap was taken by scrum half, Gareth OWEN, and passed inside to number 8, Mark WARRENDER who used his strength to score a try some 10 metres to the side of the posts. Oliver COOK kicked the conversion to give Heath a 7-5 lead after 12 minutes. Heath continued to dictate matters in the forwards with both Oliver COOK and Dave PIGEON winning their own ball at the line out and stealing a fair amount of ball on the opposition throw. The continued pressure led to a catch and drive from an attacking line out in the home “22” but Heath were unable to get the ball over the line after good defence by Dinnington and they were, in fact, penalised for “holding on” in the tackle. Dinnington came back at Heath, as was to be expected, but the Heath defence was looking solid with right wing, Gavin WIGGINS, putting in a couple of notable, excellent tackles. The game was an even affair and Heath had an opportunity to increase their lead when they were awarded a penalty some 20 metres out just to the side of the posts. However, Oliver COOK uncharacteristically, missed the kick. Once again, Dinnington made their way into the Heath half. They were awarded a penalty some 25 metres out. They elected to kick for the line out which they took but when it looked as if Heath had dealt with the threat, the referee awarded another penalty to Dinnington. A quick tap was taken by the scrum half and the ball was passed to the home number 8 who scored under the posts. The conversion was successful. 7-12 after 33 minutes. Heath needed to ensure that no further score was conceded before half time and the remainder of the half was scoreless. Heath then turned around with the slope in their favour and confident that the current deficit could be overturned. They put themselves under immediate pressure from the kick off when no-one claimed the ball this happening 3 out of 4 times that Heath received from a kick off!) and it was left to left winger, Rob OWEN, to run back and recover the ball. His attempted clearance was charged down and Heath kept Dinnington out---just--- but the home side were awarded a 5m scrum. Heath recovered well and forced their way upfield into the home “22”. This led to a concerted period of pressure on the home line. A catch and drive from a line out started matters off. The Heath forwards drove their opponents back and this led to the award of a number of 5 metre scrums. However, the Dinnington defence dealt with this onslaught very well indeed and the pressure was relieved when Heath were penalised for “holding on” in the tackle. For some reason, Heath were never able to exert pressure on their opponents line for the rest of the half except for a good run by centre, John DENWOOD, into the home “22” but the home side recovered the ball and moved back upfield. Dinnington increased their lead after 59 minutes with a penalty to increase their lead to 7-15. Heath now had to score twice but the way the game was going, it was becoming increasingly difficult to see from where a score was going to come. After 62 minutes, Heath were awarded a penalty some 40 metres out. A quick tap led to the penalty being moved forward a further 10 metres for obstruction. This was then converted by Oliver COOK to keep in touch at 10-15. However, Heath failed to raise their game and Dinnington regained the initiative with the next few minutes being spent in the Heath “22”. Good defence kept Dinnington out but it did appear that it was a matter of time only before Dinnington added to their lead. This came in the 69th minute when the stocky, replacement centre made good ground in the Heath “22”. Although he was stopped, the ball was quickly recycled and passed through 3 pairs of hands to the left winger who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed but at 10-20 matters were looking grim. With 8 minutes remaining, Heath were awarded a penalty some 35 metres out and the decision was to take the kick at goal. Oliver COOK successfully put it over and Heath were within a score of drawing level. However, apart from one good forward drive by Heath, the game appeared to be meandering towards the final whistle and a defeat for the Heath boys. Dinnington were awarded a line out on halfway with the referee confirming that there was a minute left on the watch. Dinnington took good lineout ball and the ball was passed down the line. However, the experienced head of centre John DENWOOD, saw the chance of an interception. He took the ball some 45 metres from the line and made no mistake putting the ball between the posts for a, possible, match-saving try. Oliver COOK stepped up and kicked the conversion and the referee blew his whistle for “no side” to give a final score of 20-20. This was definitely not one of Heaths best performances of the season by far. They were unable, at any stage, to put their opponents under a concerted period of pressure and were making their opponents look far better than they actually were. Basic errors such as not finding touch, having clearance kicks charged down (5 in total!!) and not claiming the ball from kick-offs put the Heath line under immediate pressure. These are simple things that can, and need to be sorted out without great difficulty. However, having said this, overall the Heath defence was very good as it was tested by Dinnington, particularly in the second half. Man of the match awards were given to the 2 outstanding players on the pitch. Firstly, current Yorkshire Under 17’s captain, Daniel RAMSDEN, made his 2nd xv debut in the back row. He had an excellent game in both tight and loose putting in some excellent tackles and making some good runs. He certainly looked “at home” at senior level. Also, Daniel, both Roger HAMMOND and Tim COOK would like to thank you very much for making yourself available at short notice as it prevented Roger from spending 80 minutes in the back row and COOKY from spending the same in the front row, the latter expressing a desire to run touch only, due to a wee bit of red wine the previous evening!! The second man of the match award goes to Mark WARRENDER who gave his usual 100% effort throughout the game and was all over the pitch both in attack and defence and was outstanding----once more!! I am sure that the Heath boys will want to get back on the field as soon as possible in order to show exactly what they can do and win in style. Bring on Cleckheaton next Saturday.



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