Positive signs despite a loss.
Heath’s Under 16s first game of the season saw their recently expanded squad finding their feet against Grassington based hosts, Wharfedale. Now boasting a squad of 27, thanks to former adversaries Old Rishworthian recently disbanding, and respondent in new kit kindly supplied by Makin Dixon Solicitors, Heath’s first game of the season proved to be something of a ‘bedding in’ session.
Wharfedale made their intentions clear from the off with some crunching drives from their sturdy, home reared forwards! That said, Heath defended well for the first 10 minutes before Dominic Ellam added the first points of the match with another of his pin-neat kicks adding three penalty points. Playing on a pitch lacking any flags or clearly defined line markings proved something of an obstacle for the visitors as Heath’s resident exocet missile Callum Harriet-Brown charged for the line only to fall short just within striking distance.
The remainder of the first half proved to be Heath’s downfall as Wharfedale ran in three tries (two of which were converted) in relatively quick succession taking the score line to 19-3. A brilliant run down the wing saw Tom Berridge’s excellent foot work and pace take him over the line. Unfortunately he touched down after the barely visible dead ball line leaving Wharfedale with an enviable half-time lead they’d raised to 26-3 following another converted try.
Heath’s Harriet-Brown took the first points of the second half. Displaying his speed and agility he picked his way through Wharfedale’s defence to touch down between the posts. Wharfedale replied with a converted try before new recruit Liam Sykes showed his pace and determination driving through the opposition’s defence. Hot on his heels, Harriet-Brown crossed once more with Ellam clearing the conversion. Things looked to be back on track as Ellam proved with another hard fought drive before crossing taking the score to 33-25 placing the visitors back in contention.
Unfortunately for Heath, Wharfedale found their form again running in another three tries with two conversions before the whistle blew.
The final score wasn’t a true representation of Heath’s ability. With 10 new members in their squad the side possibly need a little more time to gel but all the signs are positive. Heath have five players trialling for Yorkshire this week, no mean feat from a team which only reached full strength last season.