2nds back to winning ways
1. Dance 6. Wilby 11 Bruce
2. Whitworth 7. Barnes 12 Georgiou
3. Morley 8. Wheelwright 13 Wilby
4. Milner 9. Cole 14 Ali
5. James 10 Reynolds 15 Webb
Subs: Dawes, Lord, Cockcroft, Fairbank, Fox, Nicholson
After last week’s disappointing away performance, a strong Heath team were looking to get things back on track against Ripon, who themselves seem to be having an up and down season, depending on Home or Away fixtures.
Ripon kicked off, and Cole returned well to give Heath an early attacking position on the 22, Heath pressured well, and the ball was only cleared to about 10m out. Ripon stole the ball, but great closing down from Whitworth saw him charge the ball down, and follow the rebound to touch down in goal, Coles kick was unlucky to hit the post 5-0
Milner collected the restart and Wilkinson made a run up the wing, only to knock the ball on in contact, Heath forced a mistake at the scrum and Reynolds kicked through to the 5m line. Webb was released from the set piece and forced a knock on from Ripon and then again from the 5m scrum, however the pack was unable to force the ball over the line and the ball was cleared. Heath then lost Whitworth to a neck injury early, Wilby moved to Hooker and Fairbank moved into flanker. Webb cleared a probing kick to half way and then forced a penalty, with a quick tap taken the ball reached Reynolds who saw Bruce out wide, in space, and he ran in for the second score, the difficult conversion was missed 10-0
Heath were lucky to remain at full strength after Ali was penalised for a no arms tackle, but a strong word from the official sufficed, but Ripon were given an attacking penalty chance, but they knocked on near to the line due to strong defence. The scrum was secured, and Reynolds cleared well into the 22, Cole collected the return and released Wheelwright for a great charge back into the 22, the ball was turned over and Heath failed to collect the kick but were let off when Ripons next kick went straight out.
Heath forwards next came to the fore moving the ball forward through several drives allowing, Fairbank to break and then release Georgiou in for the 3rd 15-0 the extras were missed.
The crowd were confident of Heath moving on to a large score, but for some reason they switched off, and Ripon took advantage. Moving forward from a hurried kick, they soon won a penalty and forced a 5m lineout, with their organised pack the easily drove in for their opener, which they converted 15-7.
Barnes was replaced by Dawes
Half Time 15-7
Half time was blown soon after and the score line was too close for comfort, a raft of changes were made
James was replaced by Cockcroft
Ali was replaced by Nicholson
Webb moved into the backline and Fairbank moved to No8
Heath restarted looking to move the score to a more comfortable distance, Cockcroft executed a near chip to the 15m line, but Ripon kicked clear, Bruce then showed his kicking skills to setup a chase with the ball ending up on the 22 again. Ripon were well organised and cleared again, and the game entered a scrappy period of play with both sides seemingly unable to string passes together. Ripon were the first to recover and Heath had to defend several drives near the line including a 5m scrum, Webb eventually relieved the pressure with a clearing kick.
Wilkinson was replaced by Lord
Webb was replaced by Fox
Ripon won a penalty near to the line for not releasing, and elected to take the scrum, which they powered over from, and worryingly converted 15-14.
From the early great start, we were now in a tough one-point game, and the team needed to regroup. They did exactly this, several runs took Heath close to the try line, eventually forcing a penalty. Heath drove again several times and when it seemed like the chance has gone, the official awarded a penalty try for another Ripon offence he deemed deliberate. 22-14
Cockcroft and the forwards took the ball on from the restart, looking to take the game away from Ripon, Bruce found space again giving the forwards a chance to power on, and Morley popped up to take the ball crashing over, which Cole converted 29-14
Heath saw out the rest of the game comfortably, but knew they had put themselves under undue pressure, although full credit should go to Ripon coming back from three scores.
The official blew shortly after, the team need to up their game again in 2 weeks - against local rivals Rishworthians who may not be so forgiving if concentrations lapses