Good rugby played; both sides. Heath's 2nd win in 3 meetings
Heath 41 Tries: Jack Lumb,
Matt Nicholson (2),
Conv: Jack Lumb (2)
Forwards: 1) Jack Mollett, 2) Andrew Coates, 3) Ed Vickers, 4) Toby Laurie, 5) Jamie Reeve, 6) Will Simpson, 7) Sam McIntyre 8) Isaac Shaw
Backs: 9) George Barton, 10) Harry Stevens (Capt), 11) Seb Wood-Ives, 12) Matt Nicholson 13) Jack Lumb 14) Dillon Hilton 15) Max Rowntree
Subs:, Finlay Verry
Heath were on the road again to face Roundhegians for the third time this season.Both of the previous matches were extremely competitive with one win a piece.Met with excellent conditions in an unusually warm February afternoon, ideal for running footy, Heath arrived with the full 15 and sub, a good effort in half term.
A few changes from the last match with Ed Vickers returning from injury slotting straight back into the front row along side fellow Prop Jack Mollett and Hooker Andrew Coates.A shuffle around in the backs saw Harry Stevens captaining from First Five Eighth, Jack Lumb moving forward to the Centres, Max Rowntree moving from Wing to Fullback with Dillon Hilton filling the vacant Wing spot.
The home side kicked off on their No. 1 pitch, playing left to right looking away from the clubhouse and it was immediately apparent that Heath needed to be at their most physical, especially with the big Roundhegian No. 8 looking to run at every opportunity.However, it was Heath that had the majority of the possession and territory in the early minutes, retaining possession well and stringing together 10-15 phases of play as they pushed into the home sides 22.
First blood was drawn by the Leeds outfit with a clearance kick not finding touch and being collected by the Left Wing who showed an excellent turn of pace to traverse the field and score in the right-hand corner, totally against the run of play.Unconverted, Heath trailed 0-5.
From the kick off it was all Heath again as they recycled ball well in the breakdown putting together good spells of ball retention.An Isaac Shaw run down the left hand touch took them into the opposition 22 but a knock on finally relieved pressure for the home side.With the ball put into touch from the scrum, Lock Jamie Reeve secured good line out ball, Halfback George Barton sent it quickly to Harry Stevens, on to Matt Nicholson playing at Second Five Eighth who put Jack Lumb into the gap to score to the right hand side of the sticks.Jack Lumb duly converted his own try to put Heath into the lead 7-5 after 15 minutes.
While Heath had been holding the advantage in territory Roundhegians were certainly giving as good as they got but that territorial advantage was too much as Matt Nicholson set off on one of his trademark runs before passing to Wing Seb Wood-Ives who stepped inside to beat the last man and score half way between the posts and left hand touch line.Unconverted, Heath were out to a 12-5 lead.
With No. 8 Isaac Shaw taking a rest on the 20 minute mark, replacement Finlay Verry’s first task was a one handed tap back from an Andrew Coates throw in safely into the hands of Halfback George Barton.Roundhegians were having a good spell and were next to add to their tally when their No. 8 came charging through close to the ruck for a converted try levelling the scores 12-12.Heath were straight back at them from the kick off with a line out win against the throw quickly sent out the backs for Centre Matt Nicholson to dot down with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
In what seemed the theme of the half Roundhegians scored next, to level at 17 all, only for Lock Jamie Reeve to charge through under the posts following a storming run from Ed Vickers.With the conversion successful, Heath went into the sheds 24-17 ahead.
With some good rugby having been played in the first half, especially by the Heath forwards who were looking after the ball in contact and being rewarded with making valuable yards into the opposition half, more of the same was to follow in the second.Isaac Shaw returned to the field for Toby Laurie but it was Flanker Will Simpson hit the opposition hard from the kick off to set the tone for the final 35 minutes.Shortly after loose ball was swooped upon by Ed Vickers who out paced the chasing defence to score under the posts, a well deserved try.Not converted, but Heath had stretched the lead to 29-17.
The home side were next to score with their converted try reducing the gap to 5 points, 29-24 at which point Toby Laurie returned for Jamie Reeve.Matt Nicholson continued to make a nuisance of himself in the midfield testing the opposition defence at every opportunity.Heath were trying all manner of tactics to break through for the next score including a clever grubber kick and chase from Fullback Max Rowntree that was carried over the line by the opposition for a Heath 5m scrum.
From the scrum the ball was quickly spun wide, out to Max Rowntree, who with plenty of work to do scored to the left hand side of the posts taking the score to 34-24, 17 minutes into the second half.
Not to be outdone, Roundhegians scored next, seven minutes later to take the deficit back to five points with eleven minutes to play.Jamie Reeve returned to the field in place of Finlay Verry for the final minutes with play bouncing back and forward up and down the field with both sides looking for a final score. But it was Heath who had the final say with Prop Ed Vickers bursting through the centre and offloading to supporting Matt Nicholson to score under the posts.Max Rowntree’s conversion took the score to 41-29 where it remained for the final couple of minutes.
Good rugby played, by both sides, and with the points spread around the backs and forwards showed the hard work being down right across the field.Excellent ball retention from the forwards giving the backs good ball to run when the opportunities arose.
Coaches picked two Men of the Match, Ed Vickers in the Forwards and Seb Wood-Ives in the Backs, although there were a number of players across the park who also could have been the recipients.