Match Report: Saturday 24 March 2018

Reported by Steve Dawes
FINAL SCORE: Heath RUFC 47 vs Yarnbury RUFC 36

Back to winning ways for Heath, with bonus point as well


1. Hammond  6.  Wheelwright     11 Wilkinson 

2.   Owen  7. Nicholson   12 Gill

3. Morley 8.  Fairbank  13 Bruce

4. James     9. Cole 14 Lord

5. Dawes    10 Malik   15 Hinchcliffe


Subs: Burbidge, Dance



Heath return to winning ways, with a bonus point in free scoring game


Heath returned to the field in a home game against a Yarnbury side only one place below them, on a spring like day. Selection was a headache again for Cole, after the heavy defeat against Otley and having to forfeit the away game against Moortown, due to injuries, call-ups and unavailability. Indeed with 4 midweek call ups to promotion chasing 1sts, Heath 2nds had to dig deep into reserves, but were bolstered by the return from injury of evergreen Malik and Gill, Lord and Fairbank were available for selection.


Yarnbury were unable to field a recognised front row so the game would take place with uncontested scrums, allowing Dawes to move into 2nd row with Wheelwright moving to flanker. Heath kicked off and were immediately on the attack through some strong drives in the pack. James found space and the ball made its way to Gill for a strong run, however he was unable to find Lord with the final pass.  From the lineout they quickly gained possession, Bruce found Wilkinson, who despite some jinking, was felled by a great tackle, the ball was recycled, and several drives later, Fairbank seized his chance and crossed under the posts for his opening try. Cole made no mistake with the conversion 7-0


Minutes later Heath were again on the ascendancy, Fairbank was again in the midst of play and broke the line, Wilkinson worked his magic on the wing, going on a mazy run, seeing Malik inside he offloaded, and the ball found its way to Fairbank again, for his 2nd. Cole took the extras again 14-0


The crowd were now expecting a large win, and maybe this relayed its way to the players, when Yarnbury moved to within metres of the try line and then found space out wide for their pacey back to score 14-5


Heath regrouped, great work through the pack again, with Morley and Wheelwright driving, produced solid ball for Lord to exploit, when he was tackled the pack were quickly on scene to recycle and Fairbank crossed again for his hattrick score. Cole added the very difficult conversion 21-5


Yarnbury were not to be beaten though, as they took the game back to Heath.  When a penalty was conceded, Yarnbury reacted quickly and their backs again found themselves in space and were able to break away unchallenged and score under posts making the extras easy 21-12. 

Heath had switched off and with previous weeks defeats, maybe on their minds, allowed Yarnbury to hack the ball through when it went to ground and 3 of them ran over the line to really pile pressure on. 21-19.


Could Heath restore order before Half time, they buoyed each other as they moved back for the kick off. Cole executed a great kick and the chasing Gill and Wilkinson forced a lineout. Dawes took the ball off the top of the lineout and was propelled towards the line, with Hammond taking on the challenge, there was no stopping the pack and he crashed down over the line. Cole just hit the post with the difficult chance. 26-19.


With only 5 minutes left of the half, Heath attacked again. Forcing a penalty, Heath took the lineout on the 22, from the attack the ball went to ground, and Fairbank was adjudged to have tackled dangerously at the ruck and was unfortunate to see yellow.  Heath were not disheartened though, Jack Bruce made a great break after an interception, and when seemingly clear checked back inside, and was held, luckily Nicholson was inside, and he crossed over for a try, Cole made no mistake with the conversion 33-19.


The official blew for half time.  HT 33-19


Hammond took a well-earned break and Burbidge took to the field


With the man advantage still, Yarnbury attacked, Heath defended well with great tackles by James, Owen and Burbidge. However very little field position was gained, eventually the pressure told, and they crossed for another try 33-24.


Yarnbury themselves then found themselves reduced to 14, after a back was dismissed for dissent. With Fairbank returning Heath took their chance, James finding space after a drive to score. Cole continued great days kicking with another score from near the touch line 40-24.


The next 10 minutes saw the pattern of the game repeat itself, when despite the extra numbers, Heath tried to commit Hari Kari. Wild passes and poor decision making let Yarnbury in for two quick scores, one under the posts, 40-36. 


This was very much game on now, even though a bonus point was in the bag the winning ones were not. Yarnbury returned to full strength to even up there as well. The team dug deep, experienced heads emphasised need for keeping play simple. Most of the scores that had been conceded had been through errors, and Heath had been the more powerful team up front.  Heath were pulled back from a break due to a head injury for our opponents, luckily, he was not seriously hurt and returned to the fray. Heath restarted with a scrum, and Fairbank went on the charge again, crossing for his fourth of the afternoon, and Cole made no mistake 47-36.


With 10 minutes left Heath just needed to see out the game, Heath tried to get the 50-point score but found their opponents equal to the task, with Heath on one final attack they were held short of the line and the official blew for time.


A great win for the squad after some dark weeks, with several players now available after absence we go into two final away games guaranteed at least 7th position a great first season in the Championship, considering injuries etc. The target now should be to finish with maximum points from both games which would ensure we finish above local rivals Rishworthians




Full time 47-36




Fairbank 4

Nicholson 1

Hammond 1

James 1




Cole 6



Tries 7 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 0
Conversions 6 Attendance 50
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