Heath U15’s vs Roundhegians
The No.2 pitch in front of the clubhouse Heath saw Heath locking horns with Roundhegians for the second time this season having opened the season with a loss against the Leeds side in September. With a full squad including Prop Callum Pickett returning to the bench after suffering a broken arm earlier in the season, Heath were looking to build on last weeks excellent performance in the Yorkshire Plate.
The visitors kicked off into the wind playing towards the No.1 pitch in excellent playing conditions. Heath were quickly on attack with strong runs from Isaac Shaw and Lewis Dow into the Roundhegians half building early pressure resulting in a penalty on the visitors 10m line. Captain Ben Gianotti kicked to touch and from the line out Isaac Shaw surged forwards off the back of the lineout supported by his fellow loosies Andrew Coates and Alfie Connors. The ball was quickly recycled and sent through the backs to Kalob Williams on the wing who was brought down inside the visitors 22.
A physical and organised Heath defence wasn’t allowing the visitors the chance to run and build any good passages of play and after 15 minutes Roundhegians had not left their own half. An injury to Prop Ed Vickers at 17 minutes saw Callum Pickett come into the front row. Heath were piling on the pressure but the visitors were responding with an excellent defence of their own and stifling the chances Heath were creating.
Two penalties kicked to touch kept the pressure on the visitors with lineouts on the 5 metre line leading to an eventual Roundhegian kick to touch from behind the goal line to relieve the pressure momentarily. The Heath backs were getting good ball and strong runs from Centres Dillon Hilton and Max Rowntree were backed up with excellent ball retention from the forwards building phase after phase of pressure on the Roundhegian try line.
At the 25 minute mark Heath were twice held up over the line by the committed visitors defence with the visitors pushing back to make a rare visit into the Heath half. Finlay Verry came on at loose forward in place of Alfie Connors as Heath worked their way back into their opponent’s half where they remained until half time with the score locked at 0-0.
The second half saw Heath playing into the wind and coach Jordan Bradbrook bringing on Owen Simpson and Alfie Connors returning to the field at halfback and flanker respectively. A strong tackle from Andrew Coates set the tone for the second half. The visitors started to use the wind and kick downfield with fullback Sam McIntyre running the ball back into the Roundhegian defence.
A knock on by the visitors 5 minutes into the second half gave Heath the scrum feed on their 22 from which they pushed up the field to win a penalty on their 40 metre mark which was quickly taken by Owen Simpson and sent out to the backs. Heath were now in the visitors half but a series of penalties allowed the visitors to work their way up the field to a lineout 5m metres out from the Heath line. From the lineout the visitors drove over in corner to score the first point of the match to lead 5-0 after 40 minutes.
Heath kicked off quickly regaining possession. Isaac Shaw again with a trademark run into the opposition 22 led to a penalty to Heath for offside, again taken quickly by Owen Simpson. The supporting forwards drove towards the line allowing fullback Sam McIntyre to drive over the line for Heaths first points of the match. Ben Gianotti converted and Heath led 7-5 after 45 minutes.
Changes were being made by the Heath coaching team with Jack Mollet and Nathan Baldwyn now on the field in the front row.
Roundhegians were back in the Heath half and again testing the home sides defence winning a penalty for a high tackle which they kicked to touch 5 metres out from the Heath try line. From the lineout their forwards drove forwards only to be halted by a committed Heath defence. They continued to camp out in the Heath 22 and eventually broke their defence again with a try wide out to lead 10-5 after 22 minutes of the 2nd half.
From the kick off the visitors again kicked their way down into the Heath 22 scoring twice in the last 3 minutes to take the final score to 24-7.
Overall an excellent across the park performance from Heath, competing both in commitment and physicality with the Leeds side. Another improvement from last weeks performance that the boys should all be proud of.
Man of the Match:
Heath 7 - 24 Roundhegians
1 Ed Vickers
2 Ben Kershaw
3 Lewis Dow
4 Toby Laurie
5 Saul Marson
6 Alfie Connors
7 Andrew Coates
8 Isaac Shaw
9 George Barton
10 Ben Gianotti (c) (C)
11 Kalob Williams
12 Dillon Hilton
13 Max Rowntree
14 Adam Ayub
15 Sam McIntyre (T)