Match Report
Heath RUFC (28) vs Moortown RUFC (26)
Saturday 22 September 2018
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Reporter: Thomas Stanley Walton
Dated: 23 September 2018


Heath entertained high flying Moortown in this Yorkshire 1 game, looking to build on their winning run to maintain the pressure on leaders Middlesbrough and Old Crossleyans. Coach Dave Harrison was forced into two changes due to the unavailability of Eddie Cartwright and an injured Matt Beasty and so drafted in Matt Hallett at centre, who has returned from a stint abroad, and Seiffe Boussadda who started the game after a couple of matches starting from the bench. The ever reliable Dave Skinner taking his place on the bench alongside Jordan Moana and Michael Reynolds.

From the start, Heath quickly got into a rhythm as they probed the visitors defence. Callum Harriett-Brown was first to have a run before Boussadda and Chris Moore battered into the Moortown defence. With wing Harriett-Brown in support he released Ezra Hinchliffe whose swift off load to the supporting Matt Hallett saw the centre go over the try-line to open Heath's account with a converted try after 5 minutes, 7-0. However, this delight was short lived as Heath, from the re-start, committed a number of offences, penalised by the referee, and three converted penalties in the next 5 minutes which saw Moortown lead 9-7. This shook the home side and they continued to make mistakes at an alarming rate and when an attempted clearance from Dan Cole was charged down Moortown took advantage. The ball bounced forwards and as Ezra Hinchliffe in desperation tackled the chasing player short of the line. Moortown were awarded a penalty try and a lead of 16-7 with 15 minutes played. Hinchliffe was sin binned for his actions and Heath were all over the place as they tried desperately to re-group. Heath tried to keep hold of the ball and Olly Cook and Alex McFadden drove into the Moortown defence and on 25 minutes were awarded a penalty, which the returning Hinchliffe missed, but Heath appeared to have clawed their way back into the game before giving away yet another penalty, which Moortown took advantage of, and increased their lead to 19-7. Boussadda was replaced by Jordan Moana as coach Harrison looked to stem the tide and with 35 minutes on the clock Heath were rewarded with a converted penalty from Hinchliffe to reduce the arrears to 19-10. As the clock wound down to half time it was Moortown who finished stronger but they  could not add to the score-line despite an attempted drop kick as the whistle blew.

It was obvious to the crowd during half time that Heaths head coach Dave Harrison was not happy with his charges first half performance as he laid the law down as to how his players should play and this had an immediate impact on the side as they started the second half like a house on fire as they pounded the visitors defence. Moortown could not withstand the onslaught and gave away a penalty which was put into touch. From the resulting line out Fergus Marsden, who was having an excellent game, caught the ball. Heath drove forwards and Marsden was over the line for a try, converted by Hinchliffe, and Heath were back in the game 19-17 with 45 minutes played. Heath were rampant and took the lead with a penalty on 50 minutes from Hinchliffe.  20-19. Heath were now in full flow as Moortown struggled and when Richard Brown returned to replace Ian Downsborough the pack moved forwards with venom. As the Heath back line began to link up,  Peter Birkett fed Ezra  Hinchliffe whose pass to Matt Hallett looked to secure  a try but he was bungled into touch 5 metres short of the  try-line. It was only a matter of time as Moortown struggled to cope and from a catch and drive Alex McFadden emerged over the line for Heath's third try and a lead of 25-19, with just  under a quarter of the game left.

The game now became a colossal battle as Moortown re-grouped and went in search of a score but when Heath were awarded a penalty with minutes remaining Hinchliffe added the extras to increase the lead to 28-19 and they looked to have secured the points. However, Moortown, much to their credit, were not to be beaten and following a frantic final minute snatched a converted try to reduce the arrears 28-26. The referee ended the game and Heath, much to  their relief, had used their “get  out of jail” free card to secure a third win much to the delight of the home crowd.

Next week Heath travel to newly promoted Pontefract who currently sit in third spot for yet another titanic battle and no doubt will be addressing some of their problems on the training park during the week.


Finally, Ian Rushworth watched the game for the Halifax Courier.  Read his Report at



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