Great game sees Heath come out well on top.
Heath ensured they had the bragging rights in this outstanding and exciting Calderdale derby which once again highlighted the quality of teams in Level 7 of the RFU pyramid. Coach Dave Harrison selected the same starting line-up from last weeks emphatic victory over Bradford Salem and added Seiffe Boussaada and Richard Dance alongside Martyn Barnes onto the bench.
In perfect conditions, and with a large crowd gathered for the spectacle, Heath kicked off and were quickly onto the attack with captain Ian Downsborough making a strong run to set up an attack. Brods responded and a clearance kick was scooped up by Gaz Naburn who went in for an easy score in the corner with 3 minutes on the clock and a score of 5-0 to the visitors. Heath were making a number of errors in crucial positions as they tried to re-group but Brods were holding firm and cleared any danger with some astute kicking, but Heath were getting into a rhythm and when Sam Pollard and Eddie Cartwright linked well and the visitors were under pressure again. Next, Jordan Bradbrook and Jason Merrie linked well to surge forwards at the Brods defence and it seemed only a matter of time before Heath would draw level. Heaths pack began to dominate and after a number of re-sets with Richard Brown controlling the ball Sam Pollard picked up a loose clearance and drove towards the Brods line but was held up. The Heath forwards piled in support and Olly Cook was on hand to go over for a try and level the score 5-5 with 20 minutes on the clock. From the re-start Paddy Kerr received a nasty cut from a collision and was replaced by Richard Dance who quickly made his mark making several tackles as the battle intensified. Peter Birkett, who was having yet another outstanding game, broke free but his pass to Eddie Cartwright was adjudged forwards with the try-line beckoning but it was only a matter of time before Heath scored again and it was a beauty. Once again Sam Pollard, who was growing in confidence, linked up with Callum Harriett-Brown and as the whole of the Heath team were in support the ball came to Ezra Hinchliffe and his clever pass to Jordan Bradbrook, who ran hard towards the try-line scoring a superb try on 25 minutes. Hinchliffe added the extras and Heath were in control of the game 12-5. Fergus Marsden came off and Seiffe Boussaaada entered the game looking to make an early impression but he was in the action in defence as Brods, to their credit, responded and began an onslaught onto the Heath try-line. Brods threw everything at Heath as they battered the home side but the home defence stood firm and were relieved to see Jack Crabtree kick a monster ball clearance which eased the pressure. As both teams continued to batter each other clever play from Jason Merrie and Ian Downsborough saw the ball reach Callum Harriett-Brown on the half way line. The Heath winger then set off on a mazy run, cheered on by the huge Heath crowd, and he scored a magnificent solo try as he jinked passed several attempted tackles from the Brods players. This was converted by Hinchliffe and a lead of 19-5 with 33 minutes on the clock. The visitors had to hold out and managed to do so as half time came and a much needed break for both teams.
Could the second half be any better, yes it could, as Brods began the next forty minutes Heath were quickly back in the groove and continued to attack. It came as no surprise when Heath were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes and Hinchliffe increased the score to 22-5 which meant Brods were now playing catch up rugby. Dance made way for the patched up Paddy Kerr on 55 minutes and he was quickly back in the thick of things as Heath mounted yet another attack. Alex McFadden, Richard Brown, Jason Merrie and Sam Pollard all made strong runs with the Brods team in disarray but once again the visitors responded. Following the substitutions on 68 minutes of Matt Beasty, who had another quality stint, and Seffe Boussada, Fergus Marsden and Martyn Barnes came on but as Heath re-organised Brods took advantage and wing Tom Kill nipped in for a try in the corner to reduce the deficit to 22-10 with ten minutes remaining. Brods then went looking for further scores but Heath managed to hold on and went on to finish the game on top as the visitors became a spent force. Heath were desperate for a bonus point try and Ezra Hinchliffe obliged with the last play of the game and went in for a try in the corner, which he converted, and a final score of 29-10 as the referee blew for full time.
Coach Dave Harrison was delighted with the result. “A thoroughly entertaining game from two committed teams and a superb advert for Yorkshire 1”. After the game a trophy, donated in the memory of Heath stalwart Dave Littlefair, was presented to the winning captain Ian Downsborough. This will now be competed for in every Heath v Brods encounter.
Here's Ian Rushwoths Report, from the Courier. http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/sport/more-sport/heath-power-to-derby-win-1-8829182