Match Report: Saturday 18 November 2017

Reported by Steve Dawes
FINAL SCORE: Wharfedale RUFC 33 vs Heath RUFC 36

A roller coaster game in which Heath win out

 

1. Dance   6.  Wilby       11   Bruce

2. Whitworth     7. Dawes    12 Webb

3. Morley 8.  Wheelwright   13 Beever

4. Milner     9. Cole 14 Wilkinson

5. James    10 Reynolds   15 Hinchcliffe

 

Subs: Callum, Lord, Owen, K Raby

 

With a bus trip arranged Heath 2nds set off on the trip to Wharfedale in confident mood, looking for a win which would make the evenings festivities all the better. With several supporters also making the trip, the mild weather was very welcome, on what can be one of the coldest trips of the year.

Heath kicked off and were immediately under pressure from a well drilled Wharfedale team. They very quickly forced a lineout on the 5m line which they secured well and drove over for an early try, the extras were not taken. The shell-shocked Heath line-up tried to regroup from the restart, from a break by Hinchcliffe, Wilkinson was soon on the charge, but he was held up and adjudged to have not released, giving the chance for a clearance. Wharfedale made the most of the lineout to kick once again to the 5m line, with Cole clearing to the 22, Wharfedale saw that we were slow to move out and spotted space wide, spreading the ball fast across the back line, they went in for a further try and conversion. 12-0

The Heath supporters were expecting the worse, with only 10 minutes gone, the whole team looked tired and lacklustre. Webb tried a kick through, but that went dead and the scrum bore no fruits for the pack, from the next passage of play, Heath won their first penalty, but failed to find touch. Wharfedale used their excellent back line again and ran through a gap, to score a further try under the posts for an easy conversion 19-0

If this was not going to be a true drubbing, being only 15 minutes gone, then it was time for some harsh words behind the post from Cole. Heath seemed to steady the ship for the next 10 minutes, working simple ball through the forwards, Dawes and then Wilkinson took two great tackles, and then Bruce drew an infringement.

Heath nearly lost the ball at the resultant lineout, but recycled well, and Wilkinson attacked releasing Reynolds and then Webb, but there was a knock on close to the line. Wharfedale cleared to half way, from another penalty it was Wheelwrights turn to start a drive supported by Dance and James. Wharfedale did turn the ball over, but lost the ball forward, Reynolds pounced and saw Beever out-wide and he sprinted 20 metres to score near the posts, allowing Cole to add two 19-7

Wharfedale looked to be struggling with the power of the Heath forwards and Morley was crashing into his opposite numbers to great effect. With Milner and Wilby supporting, Cole moved the ball to the backs again and this time it was Webb who found Wilkinson outside for another great score. Cole again took the extras 19-14. It was now time for our opponents to look shocked and they didn’t get going from the restart again, with Wheelwright releasing the charging Milner, Cole kicked to the 22 Heath drove and Webb collected and executed a great kick with he touched down himself, with Cole adding the extras, Heath moved into an unbelievable (at 10 mins in) 19-21 position with Halftime blown

 

 

Half Time 19-21

 

James was replaced by Owen

 

With the game restarting the Heath supporters, were hoping for a much less stressful 2nd period, but it was not to be. Wharfedale buoyed by a few strong replacements were immediately on the offensive, pinning Heath back with 10 metres of their line. With several attacks repelled they eventually conceded a penalty, which allowed ‘dale to kick to the 5m line. Another successful drive, and the try was scored, with a great conversion also taken 26-21.

 

Wharfedale pressed again from the restart, and Heath were trying to repel the well worked moves, Heath held up another drive and then the resultant scrum, but more powerful work setup their backs to cross again, opening the gap to 33-21.

 

To add to the problems Webb was given a yellow card for continual offside infringements. This was going to be an uphill task now with 14 men and only around 20 minutes remaining

 

Beever was replaced by Lord

 

Heath however managed the reduction in men better that ‘dale, with the pack working well, Wheelwright released Reynolds, when he was held up, another great drive by the pack released Wilkinson for his 2nd try, the difficult conversion was excellent taken by Cole 33-28

 

Heaths heads were up now, and we were once again in the ascendancy, despite the reduction in numbers. Dawes secured the ball from the restart and as the pack enveloped him, Cole punted forward, which Wharfedale failed to clear very far. Wilkinson took a great quick lineout, finding the supporting pack, and Morley charged over to level the score 33-33, the conversion was missed.

 

Callum replaced Dawes

 

With only 5 or so minutes remaining and Webb back on the field Heath looked the most likely to score. The forwards were winning everything at the breakdown, and pinning ‘dale back. Milner had a great drive held up, but the forwards recycled, and time and time again drove for the line, with Wharfedale eventually clearing, Hinchcliffe cleared forward and with Bruce and Whitworth chasing down, they forced a knock on from the full back and then won a penalty. With the Heath supporters estimating only a couple of minutes remaining and the kick being in a great position, cries of “take the points” rang out as it looked like a quick tap was going to be taken.

 

Cole strode forward took the ball and pointed to the posts, for a high-pressure kick. It sailed over, and the team returned to the restart positions determined to keep strong in the final minutes. Heath secured the high ball and ran deep into the ‘dale half, pressing for a try to seal the win, with the ball going dead in a maul, all eyes went to the official, who signalled ball dead and then blew for time, sending supporters and team members into wild celebrations.

 

33 - 36. A great win with excellent team spirit to claw themselves back from two shaky starts at the beginning of each half. We move on to another hard test next week, against league leaders West Leeds

 

 

 

 

 

HEATH RUFC MATCH STATISTICS
Tries 5 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 1
Conversions 4 Attendance 50
Click any image to enlarge