Match Report: Saturday 27 September 2014

Reported by Tomorgar
FINAL SCORE: Wath on Dearne 22 vs Heath RUFC 3

Game denied any fluency sees Heath lose out.

Heath had to make late changes for their trip to Wath. Martin Moana and Ryan Hunter had to withdraw; allowing starts for Richard Dance in the 2nd Row and Eddie Cartwright at Fullback. These resulted in Cameron Ramsden moving forward to Centre. On the bench were Martin Barnes, Mark Puttick and Matthew Cook.

During the first 10 minutes play was fairly even as both teams settled into their game with Heath playing up the slope. A series of penalties against Heath set up Wath’s first real attack 11 mins into the game and, as their pack hammered away at the Heath line, their second row forward Simon Limes went over for an unconverted try to give them the lead: 5 – 0 on 13 mins.

Dominic Walsh was instrumental in getting Heath going and slick passing with Hamish Pratt and Jack Blackhall, and then a judicious fly-hack from Pratt set up Heath’s first chance on 16 mins. Then Darren Neilly ran strongly, backed up by Rob Thackray but the winger was put into touch on 18 mins. Wath withstood the pressure.

Puttick came on for Dance and Garland moved into the 2nd row on 22 mins. Then, with Heath on the attack, a dropped pass saw Wath pick up the ball and break free. There were several missed tackles before wing Brett Small went over for another unconverted try on 27 mins to make it 10 – 0.

Heath were struggling to contain the strong Wath pack but Puttick inspired his troops and a penalty on 32 mins enabled Ezra Hinchliffe to pull the score back to 10 – 3. With tempers fraying and Wath on the attack, Pratt was sin-binned but Heath held firm and even found time for an attack when the ball was kicked through and Thackray ran for it – but the ball ran dead and half time came.

This had been a disappointing half from Heath’s point of view and it needed a much more disciplined and organized approach to the second half – which coach Kevin Plant made clear in no uncertain terms to his players during the interval.

Wath attacked from the start of the second half and then, to the amazement of the crowd, Will Sellars was sin-binned for a late or off-the-ball-tackle on 42 mins – after Wath’s fullback had first been sent off in his place, by mistake, then recalled. Si Brown was sin-binned on 44 minutes when he returned the ball over-enthusiastically for a Wath penalty. With only 12 players on the field, it was no surprise that Heath could not cover the field, and Wath’s winger out-flanked them for a converted try which took the home team to a 17 - 3 lead.

Pratt returned to the fray and from the re-start Heath were awarded a penalty but Hinchliffe’s shot was wide. This seemed to spur Heath on and Ramsden just missed out on a try in the corner after Heath created space on 50 mins. From a scrum which followed, Heath forwards got over the line but the ball was held up. Barnes went on for Blackhall as Heath continued to press and they definitely had the upper hand in the scrum.

Garland and Olly Cook went close. With Sellars back on, soon followed by Si Brown, Heath were back to strength. Heath were awarded another penalty but again Hinchliffe’s attempt went just wide, on 57 mins. It was all Heath at this stage.

Then a break from Wath turned the game with their fullback just being bundled into touch by Ramsden. From this, Wath continued to attack and from a quick penalty their scrumhalf Joe Bartlett scored one of his trademark tries, threatening to pass but driving through himself, to conclude the scoring: 22 – 3. Thackray went off for Matt Cook to make his debut on 68 mins.

The game, which had been denied fluency from start to finish, petered out. A cross field kick from Hinchliffe for Heppenstall brought a little cheer to Heath near the end. Next week, Heath will have to step up to the mark when they entertain Middlesborough.

HEATH RUFC MATCH STATISTICS
Tries 0 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 1
Conversions 0 Attendance 75
Click any image to enlarge