Match Report
Heath RUFC (57) vs Old Rishworthians (7)
Saturday 25 March 2023
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Penalties Mount up against Rishes

Reporter: Richard Cole
Dated: 25 March 2023


Heron, Puttick, Burbidge, Shipman, Downsborough, Dawes, J.Cole, Ward, Rowntree, Thomson, Cadogan, Malthouse, Morrison, Sutcliffe, Bruce.
Subs: Whitworth, Horner, Dance, Wilkinson, & Sharp.



Tries: Thomson (2), Puttick, Malthouse, Sutcliffe, & Penalty Try (3).
Cons: Thomson (4).
Pen: Thomson.


MOM: ⭐️Joe Shipman⭐️



Heath produced another well organised, disciplined and at times, unplayable performance.

Heath’s pack, led by the superb Joe Shipman, set the tone early with some destructive running, carrying hard into midfield. From this platform, the dangerous centre pairing of Jack Malthouse and Joe Morrison tested the visitor's defence. The impressive Zak Thomson, who was excellent throughout, opened the scoring, cutting through and outpacing the cover before converting his own try.

After a couple of penalties, Thomson kicked Heath deep into Rishies territory. Then after a number of powerful drives by Ian Downsborough, George Heron and Jonny Cole, a penalty was awarded in front of the posts, Thomson added the 3 points. The home side continued to dominate and from a 5-metre scrum, Rishies couldn’t hold and a penalty try was awarded. The visitor's discipline was poor throughout and the first yellow card was issued for verbals aimed at the referee.

Heath scored again, this time from a powerful catch and drive, Mark Puttick emerging with the ball, Thomson converted. Oli Burbidge, Max Dawes and Heron were replaced by Richard Dance, Sam Sharp and James Whitworth. Phil Cadogan went close on a couple of occasions and did really well to retain possession when under pressure. Rishies hit back with their best stint. Their impressive number 8 carried hard into Heath’s 22 before the centre timed his pass well for a good score. The injured Morrison had to be replaced Matthew Wilkinson.

Undeterred, Heath’s juggernaut pack shunted Rishies back at the scrum, penalty try with their prop sent to the bin. As the half came to a close, Thomson fed Malthouse who had too much power and pace for his opposite number, Thomson converted.

Half time 38-7.

Heath had put on a great first half for the large crowd and set a defensive target of not conceding anymore points.

The second half started well for Heath, Dance, Brook Ward and Sharp all carried well. Max Rowntree had another good game at scrum half, linking the forwards and backs well and tackling superbly. Heath had to wait for the next score as possession was even with play in and around the middle of the park.

Sam Horner entered the game and again showed his huge potential with some abrasive defence. He was backed up brilliantly by Sharp, Cole, Wilkinson, Dawes, and Ward who all had excellent stints in the back row.

Ben ‘The Physio’ Sutcliffe finished powerfully out wide against his former team mates, before Thomson powered his way over for a deserved brace of tries, Cadogan converting. Heath continued to play the better rugby, Jack Bruce shot through a gap 30 metres out and looked to have scored in the corner. The ball was dislodged by a swinging arm which resulted in another penalty try and another card for the offender.

Full time 57-7.

This was a great end to the season, beating local rivals at home. With games still to be played, Heath can only wait and see if they have done enough to claim the top spot in the Championship.

If this does turn out to be the final game of the year it has been an absolute pleasure to be associated with every single player who has donned a shirt for the second team this year. UTH 👊



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