A Good Day to Drop the Ball!
Heath 2nd XV entertained Huddersfield YMCA 3rd XV at West Vale on a dull, afternoon in a league game.
YMCA had the first opportunity to break the deadlock after 6 minutes when they were awarded a kickable penalty just outside the Heath ‘22’. However, the outside half dragged his kick wide. David OWEN, who had started in the absence of Matt DAY, then left the field to be replaced in the back row by Matt. After 10 minutes, YMCA did take the lead with a well struck penalty by the outside half. 0 – 3.
Within a couple of minutes, the away side had increased their lead with a well-taken unconverted try. They won a scrum inside their own half and the scrum half made a good break before offloading to support. The ball was moved quickly across the line and the left winger scored in the corner. 0 – 8. Geoff JONES took to the field replacing prop, Johnno BURTON. Oliver WILBY moved up to the front row and Geoff took his place in the back row.
After 23 minutes, Heath opened their account with a good try in the corner. Outside half, Marty MOANA, made a break and offloaded to his son, Jordan, who used his strength and speed to score near the corner flag. Michael DODD stepped up and kicked a superb conversion. 7 – 8
From the restart, Heath almost added to their tally when Tom COLLINGE took a long kick and made ground before passing to DODDY. He passed the ball to centre, Junaid MALIK who ran along the touchline before passing back inside for debutant winger, Aidan SMITH. He was unable to keep hold of the ball and the move broke down.
Heath were now in the ascendancy and after 29 minutes, they took the lead. Marty MOANA made another strong run and found Jordan on the outside. He had a simple task of placing the ball over the line some 7 metres in from touch. DODDY converted once more. 14 – 8.
After 32 minutes, Heath increased their lead. From a lineout on the YMCA ‘22’, the ball was won. Scrum half, Chris BROWN, passed to Marty MOANA. He then found Geoff JONES who entered the line and ran a superb angle scoring a try under the posts without a hand being placed upon him. DODDY converted. 21 – 8. Roger HAMMOND left the field to be replaced by Johnno BURTON at prop.
On the stroke of half time, Heath scored a very good try to increase the gap. Full back, Tom COLLINGE took a long clearance in his stride and made ground before passing to Jordan MOANA who made good ground. He then drew 2 players into the tackle and put out a sublime pop pass to Aidan SMITH who sprinted in at the corner. DODDY converted. 28 – 8.
Shortly afterwards, the referee, Mick SMITH blew for half time.
Heath 2nd XV 28 v 8 Huddersfield YMCA 3rd XV
Heath were looking at continuing in the same vein as they had finished the first half but it was the visitors who opened the second half scoring. The ball was chipped over the Heath defence and DODDY ran back but lost his footing and the visitors picked up the ball and the winger ran inside before then turning back outside before passing to the outside half who scored in the corner. The conversion was missed. 28 – 13
Heath then came back immediately with a flowing move. DODDY recovered a kick and passed to Tom COLLINGE. He found Junaid MALIK who continued the forward momentum before passing to Geoff JONES who passed outside to DODDY. He passed it back inside and the ball was inter-passed between forwards and backs and it came to Matt DAY who, unfortunately dropped the ball with the line at his mercy.
After 53 minutes, Heath did open their second half account. Junaid MALIK made a good break in the centre and found his centre partner, Jordan MOANA. He cut back inside before passing to his dad. He was well tackled by the fullback but managed to pass the ball out to Junaid MALIK who found Jordan MOANA on his outside and scored a good try. DODDY failed to convert. 33 – 13
After 63 minutes, Heath extended their lead after excellent inter-passing between forwards and backs. Second row Ben BOTTOMLEY ran strongly and scored a try converted by DODDY. 40 – 13
Heath were totally dominant at this point and always looked capable of scoring more tries. However, the final pass, on a couple of occasions, was dropped and the chance was gone.
On the stroke of full time, YMCA were given 3 penalties in quick succession which allowed them to get deep into the Heath ‘22’. They won an attacking lineout and drove for the line. The first drive was repelled by Heath but the ball was recycled and a try was scored in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful and Mick SYKES brought the game to an end.
Full time: Heath 2nd XV 40 v 18 Huddersfield YMCA
This was a very good, entertaining performance by the Heath boys in a game in which they could certainly have scored several more tries.
Man of the Match awards go to Michael DODD in the backs who struck the ball superbly when converting 5 out of 6 tries and also put in some very intelligent runs in the loose; and, in the forwards, prop, Gareth OWEN performed well in the tight and also shone in the loose taking the ball forwards on a number of occasions.
Finally, a big thank you to referee, Mick SMITH. Having lost our allocated referee on Friday evening, Mick, a YMCA player, agreed to referee and allowed a game to take place. Cheers, Mick.