What a superb performance!
Heath 3rds. Heath played their first home of the season with Emlyn James making a return to club and Gary Moore making his 3rd team home debut.
After several reshuffles, with players moving up to the 2nd 15 and some of the young colts coming in, Heath manages to muster 17 bodies. Ingham won the toss and the heath received.
In the first 10 mins the host’s much larger and stronger pack started to make inroads into the Aireborough line. Good strong running from Kerr, Moore, Hanks and James started to make large dents in the visitor’s defence and strong defence from Heath’s Sykes, Hannah, Li and John Ingham held Aireborough the visitors at bay.
On 17 mins ‘borough where penalised for hands in the ruck and Ingham made a good 50 mtrs with the penalty. Heath duly won the line and Moore with Hanks in support drove deep into the visitor’s 22. Quick hands and a cheeky chip from James enabled young colt Danny Greenwood to race after the ball and score in the corner. Ingham duly converted from the touchline for a 7 nil lead.
This seemed to spur Heath on even more and good teamwork enabled them to power their way upfield from the kick off - only for them to knock on and lose momentum. The game was even for the next 10 mins or so, but on the half hour Ingham kicked through for Fraser and Innes to chase, to see the ‘borough fullback fumble the ball in his try area and quick thinking from young Greenwood enabled him to drop on the ball and again score in the corner. Ingham was on form with the boot and converted from the touchline again for a 14 nil score to Heath.
With only 5 mins remaining in the first period, Heath again made telling breaks through James, Hanks and Moore, only to be denied by scrambling defence or a stray pass. The West Vale men then got there just deserts when a scrum against the head went their way and good mauling was rewarded when Moore dropped over the line and Ingham added the conversion. 21 – 0 as the half time whistle sounded.
After the restart Aireborough seemed to pick up their game and for 20 mins both sides where level. Lawlor and Baxter where introduced and straight away made their presence felt. On 23 mins a good break from Hanks and quick hands to Kerr, then onto Greenwood enabled him to round the home full back and score, yet again. Ingham was just wide this time with the extras.
The final 10 mins saw Heath lose Ingham, Kerr and James through knocks – being replaced by the 2 previously taken off subs and an injured Gaz Owen. This seemed to disrupt the cohesion a little and fitness seemed to leave the much bigger Heath pack. Aireborough then scored 2 late tries, converting one, to leave a final score of Heath 26 Aireborough 12.
A big thank you to Sid Hynes for reff’ing. Also, it was good to see Martyn Barnes playing again after his bad injury. This was the best performance in 2 years by a genuine Heath 3rd team. Lets stick together and move on as a squad. Live the dream, as Paddy would say!