A credible performance against a quality side.
Heath U15’s vs Yarnbury
The cold and mud were the order of the day as a well drilled Yarnbury side came to West Vale for their first meeting with Heath of the season.
Heath kicked off on the number 2 pitch in front of the clubhouse on a pitch that was already well cut up from the previous days action. The visitors kicked straight back at Fullback Max Rowntree who was to see plenty of action throughout the match. Already it was obvious that due to the conditions it was not a day for fast, fluid rugby although both sides did take opportunities to run where possible.
The visitors set up camp in the Heath half for the first eight minutes with home sides resolute and determined defence, including big tackling from Loose Forward Andrew Coates, finally breached after eight minutes. It was not to be a day for the goal kickers and the score remained at 5-0.
From the kick off the visitors received a penalty that they kicked to touch. A crooked throw saw Heaths feed to the scrum sent out to Centre Jack Lumb who linked with No 8 Isaac Shaw through the centre and back into the Yarnbury half up towards the try line. It was Heaths turn for a spell in the opposition 22 with only a high tackle penalty relieving the pressure for the visitors. Yarnbury ran the ball from the penalty and with their bigger pack worked their way back into the Heath half towards the 22. A big hit from Andrew Coates saw him leave the field briefly for treatment to be replaced by Saul Marson.
Seventeen minutes into the half and Heath were back in opposition territory and progress from Yarnbury was slowed by a committed Heath defence. Not to be out done by their fellow loosie, Alfie Connors and Isaac Shaw got in on the act with determined, physical tackle of their bigger opponents. The tight five were also putting in a big shift defensively as Yarnbury sent their bigger lads forward at every opportunity.
Yarnbury now had some momentum and were pressuring the Heath defence and finally scored again under the posts after 25 minutes to lead 12-0.
Shortly after the visitors scored a third and with a few minutes to half time, Heath lost Max Rowntree and quickly after, Finlay Verry to yellow cards for deliberate knock on and high tackle respectively. Heath were then able to see out the remainder of the half in the visitors half due to another Isaac Shaw rampage with only a desperate tackle getting in the way of the best try scoring opportunity for Heath.
The second half started with Heath 17-0 down and playing towards the No 1 pitch with the conditions overhead and underfoot deteriorating. Coach Jordan Bradbrook had made half time changes with Lewis Dow and Nathan Baldwyn into Prop and Hooker for the hard working Jack Mollet and Ben Kershaw respectively, and George Barton moving to halfback from the Wing.
Max Rowntree returned and was quickly under pressure from the visitors first five eighth who was regularly kicking deep into the Heath half. Intent on retaining possession the Fullback ran the ball back at every opportunity proving a real handful for the visitors defence making good in roads into Yarnbury territory.
At the first opportunity, back on attack in the Heath 22 Yarnbury took a penalty quickly, sent the ball wide and scored near the left hand corner to take the lead to 22-0 six minutes into the second half. That score was quickly followed up by another for the visitors, 27-0.
Knowing they needed to take the momentum back Heath were quickly on attack when a kick from Yarnbury was retrieved by Max Rowntree on his own 22, who linked with Second Row Toby Laurie. The ball was quickly recycled from the ruck by George Barton to Harry Stevens, on at First Five Eighth for captain Ben Gianotti, who put Dillon Hilton into a gap on the half way line. The Second Five Eighth out paced the covering defence to score in the right hand corner with Jack Lumb going close with a difficult conversion attempt.
From the kick off the Heath forward pack combined with some strong runs back into the visitors half and play ebbed and flowed between the two sides but it was Yarnbury who scored next and led after 21 minutes of the second half by 32-5.
Heath still had the fight in them and Isaac Shaw set off on a mighty run from the visitors 10 metre line, shrugging off tacklers only to have the ball dislodged as he dived over the tryline. Heath, tired from the heavy conditions had the last say in the match with Isaac Shaw touching down to the left hand side of the posts with two minutes left on the clock giving a final score of 32-10 to Yarnbury.
In difficult conditions all the starting 15, and “finishers” worked hard against a side that are one of this years Yorkshire Cup semi finalists, but it was Fullback Max Rowntree who took the Man of the Match award having a busy day taking everything Yarnbury kicked at him.
Heath 10 -32 Yarnbury
1 Ed Vickers
2 Ben Kershaw
3 Jack Mollet
4 Finlay Verry
5 Toby Laurie
6 Alfie Connors
7 Andrew Coates
8 Isaac Shaw Try
9 Owen Simpson
10 Ben Gianotti Capt
11 Sam McIntyre
12 Dillon Hilton Try
13 Jack Lumb
14 George Barton
15 Max Rowntree