Match Report: Sunday 9 March 2014

Reported by Richard Netherwood
FINAL SCORE: Ripon RUFC 17 vs Heath RUFC 20

Close score - good away win.

Playing Ripon away for the first time in 18 months, Heath faced a much improved opposition. None the less, they challenged effectively from the off with some sterling work in the forwards from Harry Hollinsworth, Ryley Cowgill, Jack Raby, Ben Sykes and Max Netherwood.

First points of the day though, came from Dom Ellam. Ellam took the ball from just outside his own 22 line, cutting through Riponís defence with consummate ease on the way to an unconverted try.

Ripon continued to work their visitors as both sides shared possession. Captain Jake Holmes rallied his team well and created some excellent ball play, only for Heath to fall short of the try line on several occasions. Arran Kelly, for one, was unlucky to be held up on the line after a pacy drive down the wing.

Ellam added another excellent try before Ripon finally managed to cross just before the half-time whistle with a converted try.

Starting the second half just 7- 10 down, the hosts kept up the momentum with a second try taking the lead in the process Ė but not for long. Heath took note of the wake-up call and subsequently remained camped in Riponís half for most the remaining game.

Full credit to Ripon who defended well for so long just metres from their own try line. Eventually, the pressure showed and, after a trademark punching drive from Netherwood, an on form Matthew Wilkinson pushed his way over allowing Ellam adding the conversion.

Heath, still camped in Riponís half, maintained the pressure. Ellam added Heathís final points with a penalty. 12 - 20 down, Ripon were eventually able to respond with a converted try but this proved too little too late as the whistle blew on what appeared to be an extended second half.

Despite the absence of two key players, Heath proved a more than equal match for Ripon, particularly on the wing with strong tackling from Joe Holdsworth, Jack Fox and Arron Kelly. Special mention must go to Dom Ellam though, who made the difference on the day.

Tries 3 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 1
Conversions 1 Attendance 55
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