Match Report: Saturday 9 September 2017

Reported by Thomas Stanley Walton
FINAL SCORE: Heath RUFC 18 vs Old Rishworthians I RUFC 29


Heath entertained local rivals Old Rishworthians in the first derby encounter in Yorkshire 1, but came away with a disappointing loss after showing so much promise last week against Middlesborough. Missing from last week was prop Chris Moore, unavailable, so Olly Cook moved up and Seiffe Boussaada started his first game in the second row. Paddy Kerr was added to the bench in an otherwise unchanged squad.

From kick off it looked as if Heath would dictate the game as they pressed the Rishies defence for the first 10 minutes. A clever kick from Jack Crabtree set up a real chance for Heath to open their account but they did not capitalise and the visitors defence held out. A penalty chance for Heath after 5 minutes could have enabled Heath to get points on the board but the decision to find touch instead was perhaps the wrong option. Rishworthians re-grouped and on 13 minutes they took the lead when a penalty conversion from Josh Kelly saw a score of 3-0 against the run of play. Play had settled down and when another chance for further points for Rishies when awarded a penalty saw Kelly miss. Heath fought hard to get into the game and Ben Maxwell and Richard Brown were prominent in getting the Heath pack into action. Ezra Hinchliffe missed a difficult penalty kick to get Heath on the scoreboard and as Rishworthians began to get their kicking game in play a huge clearance from Kelly saw the ball dropped and Fraser Swarbrooke pounced for a try and the visitors were 10-0 up with 30 minutes of the game played. After a torrential downpour players were making mistakes but Rishies stuck to their game plan with some astute kicking from Kelly and Olly Scrimshaw and Heath had no answers as half time came.

It was a time for strong words to be given out to try and spark Heath into action but from kick off the ball went to Ben Maxwell and as the Rishies forwards closed him down Maxwell fell in a heap in agony with a suspected dislocated knee. The game was stopped and an ambulance was summoned.

Play was moved to the smaller second pitch at Heath and the game restarted. Rishies continued to bombard the Heath defence but Eddie Cartwright and Jordan Bradbrook held firm and linked well as Bradbrook broke clear to go for the visitors try line but a foot in touch brought play back. An injury to Chris Piper saw Paddy Kerr enter the fray and Heath tried hard to get on the scoreboard. The deadlock was broken on 50 minutes with a penalty from Hinchliffe to put Heath back in 10-3 but Rishworthians response was immediate with a try in the corner from Luke Flanagan, converted by Kelly 17-3. Play was frantic from both sides and Richard Bullough for Rishies was sin binned. This seemed to spur Heath into action and Kerr had a strong run before support from Olly Cook, Richard Brown and Boussaada set up Heath captain Ian Downsborough to cross the whitewash for a try, converted by Hinchliffe and a score of 17-10 looked promising for the Heath supporters with twenty five minutes of the game remaining. Rishies response was again immediate as they came back strongly and after Downsborough was shown a yellow card Kelly scored a try and conversion to move them clear 20-10 and Heath were playing catch up again. Crabtree was replace by Callum Harriett-Brown as coach Harrison re-shuffled his back line and a penalty from Hinchliffe on 62 minutes saw a score of 20-13 but again from the re-start Heath infringed and Rishies restored their ten point lead 23-13. Harriett- Brown was quickly into his stride to release Hinchliffe whose excellent kick found touch 10 metres from the Rishies try-line. The resulting line-out was won by Matt Beasty and from the drive Peter Birkett popped up to score an unconverted try for a score of 23-18 with ten minutes remaining and Heath went looking for that vital score. However, it was the visitors who regrouped and Kelly added a penalty and drop kick to lead 29-18 and wound the clock down for their first win which was fully deserved.

Coach Dave Harrision was in reflective mood after the game. “Full credit must go to Rishworthians for the way they approached the game. They came with a specific game plan and stuck to it throughout. After last week, where we were excellent, this week we were not at the races. We need to be consistent and this is something we highlighted at the start of the season. Back to the training paddock next week as we prepare for a trip to Hullensians”.


Ian Rushworth, from the Hx Courier, came to the game.  Here's his Report:

Tries 2 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 2
Conversions 1 Attendance 200
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