3 for 8, Shaw second half hatrick seals the deal.
Heath U15’s vs Stocksbridge
A wet and windy morning greeted the Heath Under 15 squad on the hills above Stocksbridge as they took on the combined Stockbridge and Cleckheaton outfit on a track that could only be described as heavy!
Heath kicked off towards the changing rooms with a strong wind blowing diagonally across the pitch towards the right hand corner flag. It became quickly apparent that the home side were using similar tactics to previous meetings, keeping the ball tight within the forward pack to slowly work their way up the field.
However, the Heath defence was ready for the challenge and after four minutes Heath had kept the home side pegged in their own half eventually knocking on 10 metres out in front of their own posts. Heath made their own intentions clear sending the ball wide from the first opportunity leaving Stocksbridge to desperately send a clearing kick in the direction Fullback Max Rowntree who sent Wing Adam Ayub on his way down the right hand touchline and into touch well inside the Stocksbridge 22.
A knock on from the line out gave Heath a 5 metre scrum. With the feed going against the head Stocksbridge again kicked towards the Heath Fullback whose elusive running ensured Heath were back on attack in the home sides 22.
After 12 minutes in the opposition half, winning a lineout 15 metres from the home sides try line, Heath quickly sent the ball through the backs to Wing George Barton, who receiving the ball on the 22 had plenty of work to do to score an excellent try in the left hand corner giving Heath to a 5-0.
From the restart Harry Stevens kicked into the home side half chased by pacy Wing Adam Ayub bundling his opposite into touch with an excellent tackle.
The home sides response was again to keep the ball tight and while they had good periods of possession did not make big in roads into Heath territory due to an excellent committed Heath defensive effort and good tactical kicking from them.
With four minutes to go to half time Coach Jordan Bradbrook made his first change of the day replacing No 8 Isaac Shaw with Finlay Verry and the first half finished with Heath again camped out in the opposition 22 and George Barton going close in the left hand corner.
With Jamie Reeve off and Isaac Shaw returning at half time Stocksbridge kicked off with the benefit of the wind. Heath continued in the same fashion as did the home side who were still intent on keeping the ball tight trying to grind down the Heath defence. Committed tackling from the tight five and good work from the loosies Andrew Coates and Alfie Connors led to either turnovers or the slowing down of opposition ball. Fullback Max Rowntree had more defensive work to do from opposition kicks failing to make touch and worked well with Wingers Adam Ayub and Owen Simpson, who had swapped Halfback to Wing with George Barton going the other way at half time.
Throughout the second half further tactical changes akin to Hansen, Smith et al, were made by the coaching staff which kept fresh players coming back into play as legs started getting weary in the heavy conditions.
With nine minutes gone in the second half a scrum on the opposition 22 saw the Heath backline run right with Harry Stevens on the loop. Quick ball saw No 8 Isaac Shaw crashing through only to be held up over the line. With the 5 metre scrum lost against the feed a big Jack Lumb tackle forced a home side infringement giving Heath another attacking scrum 5 metres out from the try line. This time the feed was secured and Isaac Shaw picked up from the base of the scrum and drove over to the left hand side of the posts. Harry Stevens converted into a strong wind and Heath were 12-0 ahead twelve minutes into the second half.
From the kickoff Heath received a hands in the ruck penalty just outside their own 22 which they ran back at Stocksbridge working their way into the home sides 22 with excellent ball retention. Andrew Coates then replaced Ben Kershaw at Hooker and pressure from the Heath pack on the home sides scrum saw loose ball from halfback to First Five Eighth picked up by Isaac Shaw who went over for his second try of the day to take Heath to 17-0 with thirteen minutes to play.
With the horizontal rain now coming in Stocksbridge set up camp in the Heath 22 from the kick off and battered away at the Heath defence for the next eight minutes but a determined Heath defensive effort ensured that they could not convert that pressure into points. Heath were showing that not only did they like to throw the ball around, even in difficult handling conditions, they had the appetite for the contest and to make sure their own white line was not crossed.
With three minutes to go, a win against the feed for the Heath pack allowed Harry Stevens to kick ahead where the chasing Adam Ayub secured possession. Recycled ball was sent out wide and Heath surged into the opposition 22. A searching run from Max Rowntree, linking with Adam Ayub sent Isaac Shaw crashing over near the left hand corner to complete his hatrick and take the final score to 22-0.
Again, an excellent team performance with outstanding individual performances across the park in both attack and defence making a difficult Man of the Match selection for the coaching team. George Barton edged it with a well taken first half try from the Wing before switching to halfback at half time.
Heath 22 – 0 Stocksbridge
1 Ed Vickers
2 Ben Kershaw
3 Jack Mollet
4 Jamie Reeve
5 Toby Laurie
6 Alfie Connors
7 Andrew Coates
8 Isaac Shaw 3 x Try
9 Owen Simpson
10 Harry Stevens Capt Con
11 Adam Ayub
12 Jack Lumb
13 Sam McIntyre
14 George Barton Try
15 Max Rowntree