Heath Hawks 33-8 Sheffield Tigers 2’s
Haigh, Whitworth, Heron, Patrick, Ward (c), Sharp, Knight, J.Cole, Rowntree, Thomson, Firth, Fletcher, Spiers, Granger, Cadogan. Subs: Dawes, F.Morrison, Burbidge, & R.Cole.
Tries: Sharp (2), Fletcher (2), & Spiers,
Cons: Thomson (4).
⭐️Star Player: Elliott Spiers⭐️
Heath welcomed Sheffield Tigers looking to complete the double. The Tigers arrived with a young squad, 13 players and no props. To avoid a defaulted game, Oli Burbidge and Richard Cole started in the front row for the visitors to allow the game to start with competitive scrums.
The young Tigers started brightly, looking to play an exciting brand of rugby. Heath's defence was stretched on a number of occasions with both centres, Sam Fletcher and Elliott Spiers using their experience to thwart a number of half breaks. The visitors built up an 8-point lead, taking advantage of the Hawks slow start.
After conceding the try, Jonny Cole rallied the troops and Heath came out firing, immediately controlling possession and playing in the right areas. Alex Patrick, Carter Haigh and Jonny Cole lead the charge, using their bulk and leg speed to get Heath on the front foot. Max Rowntree, Harry Granger and Phil Cadogan were always dangerous as they looked to poke their noses through and back up any half breaks. From deep in the Tigers 22, Zak Thomson switched play for Fletcher to send Spiers scampering over, Thomson converted.
Heath followed this up with some expansive play taking them deep into the Tigers half. Jake Firth ran 30 metres before being felled, James Whitworth, George Heron, and Jonny Cole went close before Sam Sharp spotted a gap from close range.
Half time 12-8.
The Hawks, now in full stride, knew they had to kick on and forget about their poor start. Fletcher scored almost immediately after the restart, spotting a gap and running clean through for a great converted try.
The next ten minutes were dominated by the home side, Thomson, Jonny Cole and Spiers making long breaks, with only a foot in touch denying Firth a try. After sustained pressure, Elliot Knight and Burbidge went close before Sharp scored his second, Thomson added the conversion.
The Tigers kept playing and testing the Hawks defence, skipper Brook Ward, Max Dawes and Fraser Morrison to the fore as they repelled a number of raids. Sharp dropped the ball cold with the try line open after backing up Firth on the inside. Undeterred, Fletcher backed up Spiers to collect the inside pass and run unchallenged under the posts for a converted try.
With 7 minutes remaining, tempers fraying and the Tigers running out of troops the game was brought to a sensible conclusion.
Full time 33-8.
After a disrupted, slow start this was a great performance against a competitive, enthusiastic side. With Alnwick unable to raise a team next week, we will look to organise a fixture to keep up our unbeaten start to 2024.