Heath U16’s vs Bradford Salem
Bradford Salem 43
Heath 5 Tries: opposition player.
Forwards: 1) Will Simpson, 2) Nathan Baldwyn, 3) Ben Kershaw, 4) Toby Laurie, 5) Jamie Reeve - V Capt, 6) Finlay Verry, 7) Sam McIntyre - Capt, 8) Isaac Shaw
Backs: 9) Owen Simpson, 10) Ben Gianotti, 11) Seb Wood-Ives, 12) Harry Stevens 13) Alfie Connors 14) George Barton 15) Max Rowntree
Heath were down to the bare 15 for this away fixture against a big, well drilled Bradford outfit.Up against it from the start with a few players out of position, including a makeshift front row of Props Will Simpson and Ben Kershaw supporting regular Hooker Nathan Baldwyn, Heath knew a big effort on defence was going to the order of the day, and on that front they delivered.
From the kick off the big Bradford Second Row knocked on and with possession gained Heath set their stall out showing that they were up for the contest.The tackles were flying in with Fullback Max Rowntree being tested early with a one on one last man effort that he was to display regularly throughout the match, especially against the home sides right Wing who was starting to cause problems for Heath.
Despite being down two converted tries after ten minutes Heath weren’t rolling over and kept the score at 19-0 at half time with notable efforts on defence from 1-15.Heath were also creating opportunities when they got the ball with the Wings George Barton and Seb Wood-Ives regularly getting possession, but the best opportunity of the half came from a kick and chase from Harry Stevens only for the ball to roll dead just as the Heath Second Five Eighth outpaced the home sides defence.
A similar theme for the start of the second half with the committed defence punctured with strong running on the ball, including make shift Prop Will Simpson and No 8 Isaac Shaw linking well and being a handful for the Bradford defence.Alfie Connors in the Centre was not taking a backward step against the big Bradford backs leading the charge when a big tackle was required.
A couple of quick tries early into the second period saw Braford extend their lead but that was followed by a good spell from Heath contesting every ball in the loose as well as the lineout with the Heath jumpers contesting every Bradford throw culminating in Flanker Finlay Verry stealing opposition ball late in the second half.
The engine room of Toby Laurie and Jamie Reeve were everywhere both on defence and with the ball and Captain Sam McIntyre had a good game in the loose against a well drilled opposition back three.
Halfback Owen Simpson was leading the charge taking quick penalty taps putting the Bradford defence on the back foot and making good yardage into the opposition half and when run First Five Eighth Ben Gianotti was sending good ball wide to his outsides.
A few leaked tries near the end put Bradford out to a healthy lead but another positive was heath not giving up and taking the last points of the match with a Bradford Loanee, on as an injury replacement for Wing George Barton, crossing the line after a sustained period of pressure from Heath.
Overall, despite the score line, a good performance from Heath. Good commitment in defence, they tried things in attack and fought to the last whistle. With that level of commitment and a full squad, a return match at Heath will be worth the watch.Progress made, but more to go.