HEATH POUND OUT A WIN
15 Chris Robinson 14 Luke Saltonstall 13 Issy Spooner 12 Ezra Hinchliffe 11 Callum Harriett-Brown 10 Dan Cole 9 Michael Reynolds 1 Chris Piper 2 Alex McFadden 3 Chris Moore 4 Matt Beasty 5 Fergus Marsden 6 Alex Patrick 7 Jonny Cole 8 Richard Brown 16 Jack Crabtree 17 Seife Boussadda 18 Dave Skinner
Heath made several positional changes to the side following the injury to Jason Merrie who will be out for another two weeks. Matt Beasty had a start with Alex Patrick moving to 6 and Jonny Cole 7. At full back Chris Robinson started as Jack Crabtree took a turn on the bench alongside Boussadda and Dave Skinner.
In excellent, sunny conditions Heath kicked off and Michael Reynolds was first to the ball and Heath mounted their first attack. As they continued to press Salem gave away a penalty and Ezra Hinchliffe obliged with a conversion 3-0 with three minutes played. Excellent start. Heath continued to throw the ball around playing some excellent rugby but the visitors defence stood firm and seemed to get back into the game. However, on 23 minutes a great move which began with Chris Moore, Fergus Marsden and Jonny Cole driving into the Salem defence saw Michael Reynolds feed Dan Cole whose pass to Ezra Hinchliffe enabled the centre to scythe through the visitors defence before releasing a slick pass to the supporting Chris Robinson who went over for an unconverted try and a lead of 8-0. Heath were in full control and a run from Luke Saltonstall saw the winger bundled into touch with the try-line beckoning as Salem were under the cosh. The visitors had a rare visit into the Heath half and when Michael Reynolds received a yellow card Salem took advantage of and kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears 8-3. Salem kept up the pressure and levelled the scores8-8 when fullback James Pender scored in the corner with half time called.
Coach Dave Harrison introduced Seife Boussadda and Dave Skinner who replaced Beasty and Piper as he went looking for a re-action but despite moving the ball around well the final pass was letting them down. Salem, when they had the ball, were much more in control and when Heath gave away a penalty they took the lead 11-8 after 50 minutes. Jack Crabtree came on for Luke Saltonstall and he was immediately in the thick of the action going on a storming run before releasing a clever kick which found touch in the Salem half. It was not working for Heath as the clock ticked down and on the hour mark Matt Beasty returned, replacing Fergus Marsden. The effect was immediate as Richard Brown took control with a drive before the supporting Boussadda drove in towards the line. Salem gave away a penalty and Heath opted for the scrum and Boudssadda crossed the line for Heaths second try. Hinchliffes conversion hit the post but Heath were back in the lead 13-11 and looking for more. From the re-start Heath collected the ball and drove forwards with all the players linking well to end up 10 metres from the Salem try-line as the visitors gave away a penalty. Yet another scrum saw Dan Cole release Callum Harriett-Brown but the winger was just short of the line before Cole backed up and went over in the corner for a third converted try, 20-11, with 68 minutes played. Salem were struggling as Heath went in search of the bonus point try and when Chris Robinson rounded off a superb move with a try in the corner Heath were dominant, 25-11, with Salem sadly a spent force and maximum points were secured for the home side. Heath continued to press but there was no further scoring and the points were secured.
This was a sound display from Heath. Despite struggling in the first half as Salem had the energy, they dominated the final twenty minutes of the game to ensure they got the result they wanted and so remained in second spot in the league. With four games to go they take a week off before travelling to Dinnington for a tricky encounter followed by the local derby against Old Crossleyans.
However, Ian Rushworth, from the Hx Courier, came along to watch. Cut and paste this link tp read Ian's Report at: https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/sport/more-sport/heath-v-bradford-salem-3-try-burst-decisive-1-9641064