Match Report
North Ribblesdale RUFC 2nd XV (0) vs Heath RUFC (26)
Saturday 5 November 2016
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Tough test in the Dales

Reporter: Steve Dawes
Dated: 5 November 2016
Team: 1. Whitworth 2. Owen 3. Dance 4. Szadby 5. James 6. Dawes 7. Wilby 8. Moana 9. Reynolds 10. Cole 11. Wilkinson 12 Malik 13 Bruce 14 Hinchcliffe 15 Ramsden Replacements: Dodd This week Heath took the long trek to North Ribblesdale, in the Dales. After a 2-hour coach trip, Heath arrived buoyed by their continued unbeaten run in both league and friendlies. Losing Puttick to a late first team call up, the versatile Owen shifted to Hooker and Moana came in at No8. Heath were given an early wakeup call, Ribblesdale, belying their low table position, showed power and pace in the forwards and backs. Heath knew this was not going to be the easy match they may have expected. Great defence kept Ribblesdale from scoring, but it was 15 minutes before we managed to have our first foray into our opponent’s half. Heaths forwards, to their credit, refused to buckle and each defensive scrum was secured and the dependable Cole, cleared the pressure with huge kicks. From one of the resultant lineouts, Ribb were ruled to have thrown in not straight (an offence that was repeated by both sides throughout the match) and Heath capitalised on the scrum. Reynolds passed to Cole who released Malik, to break the line, he then released the ever-improving Bruce to cross under the posts. Cole took the easy conversion. 7 – 0. James collected the kick from the restart, and passed to Cole who put pressure on Ribb, with a clever kick through. Wilkinson was first to the ball, but he was bundled into touch. Ribb kicked into the waiting hands of Cole, who passed to Wilkinson again. He managed to offload to Ramsden in the tackle and his kicked forced a lineout back in the Ribb 22. The forwards won this against the head but Reynolds slick pass was adjudged to have gone slightly forward. Again, from the scrum Ribb rallied. They were held up several times near the line, and each time Heath managed to keep the score at zero with last ditch tackles. Heath held strong and then showed their clinical side with a great move through Dawes, Wilby and James which won a scrum. This was secured and Dance broke down the line, he managed to release Whitworth for him to take the defending players over the line with him, to score out wide. Cole missed the difficult conversion. 12- 0. Play then became very scrappy, both sides penalised for poor lineouts and knock ons, Reynolds was also unlucky to be pinged several times for feeding, together with being on the wrong side of several “close” forward passes, when our backs were through on goal. Ribblesdale again had the better of late exchanges but Heath held strong. Half Time Heath 12 – Ribb 0 With Withworth suffering a lower arm injury, Dodd came on at wing and Wilkinson moved back to flanker. Ribblesdale also made a raft of changes from their well-stocked bench. Cole encouraged the team to lift their game, and improve their tackling, which had been poor, compared to previous performances. Ribblesdale's restart went straight into touch, gifting Heath an early scrum but the reshuffle seemed to have affected Heath more than the opponents. The scrum was lost with a huge push from Ribb, and Heath then encroached offside. The resulting attacking lineout was deemed not straight though, but the relief was short lived with the scrum once again turned over. Ribb knocked on in the backs but Malik played on and broke the line once again, releasing Bruce who was stopped by a very high tackle. Heath once again wasted the ball secured by Szadby at the lineout with a knock on. No team seemed to be taking control. Ribb, although winning good ball from the scrum, were unable to complete a back line move and Heath also were guilty of several handling errors. It was down to Malik and Bruce once again to show a bit of class and link well , for Bruce to side step several defenders to score under the posts. Cole secured the extra points again 19 – 0. From the kick-off Ramsden cleared to the 10m line, adjudged not straight again, Wilkinson was setup from the scrum for a run but lost the ball forward in the tackle. Ribblesdale's dominant scrum failed to make ground from the set piece, with their No8 being held up, the ball was turned over and made its way to James who executed a perfect “fly half” chip for Wilkinson to secure. He took the ball to ground for the forwards to recycle, and the ball once again made its way to Bruce, who sprinted through for his 2nd Hatrick in as many weeks. Being under the posts Cole once again secured the extra’s 26-0. With only 10 minutes to go, Ribblesdale to their credit had the better of the late play, although Dawes with the supporting Ramsden were unlucky to be stopped on a drive, a metre from the line. Wilby and James also had several charges stopped. The referee blew for time to end a tough test for Heath. This was needed with several hard-away games up next. Heath's backs made the most of the few chances they developed and Heaths forwards can be congratulated for working as a team, right to the end to keep the score to nil once again. Owen and Moana did very well considering the late switch, and showed the flexibility that is needed with a sparse bench. Heath 26 – North Ribb 0 ......



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