Massive Credit to a Squad of 19 in Complete Control!
Heath 2nd XV entertained Moortown 2nd XV in a friendly fixture at West Vale on a cool but dry afternoon on a pitch which was wet and which was soon to become extremely heavy under foot.
Heath settled well and took the lead after only 3 minutes. After a couple of forward drives led by Paddy KERR in the opposition ‘22’, the ball was passed down the line to centre Junaid MALIK. He put in a grubber kick towards the corner where there was standing water; the retreating defenders ran past the ball which stopped in said water; and left winger, Michael DODD was given the easy task of picking up the ball and placing it over the line for a try. DODDY missed the conversion. 5 – 0
From the restart, Heath made their way back into Moortown territory. When in the ‘22’, the ball was transferred along the backline where centre, Jordan MOANA was unable to hold a pass which would surely have seen him cross the line for the second try of the game. However, from the resulting scrum, Heath took the ball against the head and pushed the Moortown ‘8’ over their own try line with number 8 and skipper, Emlyn JAMES, picking up at the base of the scrum and diving over the line for a try converted by DODDY. 12 – 0.
Heath then made a hash of the kick off when they knocked the ball on in their ‘22’. From the scrum, Moortown ran the ball to the left before transferring it back right. The outside half put in an excellent chip through to the right where the winger caught the ball and ran under the posts for a try which was converted. 12 – 7 after 11 minutes.
The tries continued. After 14 minutes, Heath made their way into the opposition ‘22’ from a penalty. Second row, Nick SZADBY, took good lineout ball and the ball was passed down the line. Jordan MOANA made good ground before passing outside to DODDY who trotted over halfway between the touchline and the posts. However, he failed to convert. 17 – 7
Heath immediately got a foothold in the Moortown ‘22’ again and after being repelled by the Moortown defence, Jordan MOANA took the ball from ‘22’ metres out. He ran straight at the opposition defence and used his strength to take several players over the line with him for a try converted by DODDY. 24 – 7 after 19 minutes.
DODDY and right winger, James WHITWORTH were then replaced by Kyle ADAMSON and Jason BAXTER respectively. At this stage, the home side looked to be well in control of the game.
However, after 24 minutes, Moortown scored a second try from poor decision-making by the Heath defence. The ball was kicked through towards the Heath try line corner flag. Hesitation in the home defence allowed the winger to pick up the ball to score an unconverted try. 24 – 12
Things then got worse after 31 minutes when Heath won the ball from a ruck in their own ‘22’. The ball was passed out to outside half, Tom COLLINGE, who popped up a pass to Junaid MALIK. Unfortunately, the pass was intercepted and a converted try under the posts followed. 24 – 19.
There were no further points in the remaining 9 minutes when referee, Sid MATTHEWS, blew for half time.
Half time: Heath 2ndXV24 v 19 Moortown 2ndXV
This was a half in which the home side totally dominated proceedings yet came in with a 5 point lead only as a result of Moortown capitalising on 3 mistakes by the home side. During the break, Steve GIBSON replaced Roger HAMMOND at hooker.
The first few minutes of the second half were played in the Heath half. However, from a scrum, Tom COLLINGE passed the ball to Junaid MALIK who made good ground before passing to Jason BAXTER who also ran strongly along the touchline before being bundled into touch. Heath were now in the Moortown half.
After 46 minutes, Heath had a lineout just outside the Moortown ‘22’. The ball was won and Tom COLLINGE passed to Junaid MALIK who made an excellent break before being tackled just short of the try line. Tom COLLINGE was up in support and Junaid flipped the ball to Tom who was tackled just shy of the line but used his reach to place the ball over the line. Kyle ADAMSON missed the conversion. 29 – 19
After 51 minutes, Heath increased their lead with a well-taken try. The forwards controlled the ball well in the Moortown half. They gained ground and the ball was passed down the line a couple of times with the ball being quickly recycled at the breakdown. From one ruck, the ball was given to prop, Paddy KERR, who drove for the line and, although being stopped just short of the line, he reached out to place the ball over the line. Kyle ADAMSON converted. 36 – 19
After 57 minutes, Heath rung the changes again with Jason BAXTER, Kyle ADAMSON and full back, Anthony DARLING leaving the field to be replaced by Michael DODD, James WHITWORTH and Mark GARSIDE. Junaid moved to ‘10’, Tom moved to ‘15’ and Mark slotted in at inside centre.
After 63 minutes, DODDY left the field with a leg injury to be replaced by Kyle ADAMSON.
Although dominating the final quarter of the game, Heath did not add to their tally and the game was brought to an end with no further points scored.
Full time: Heath 2nd XV 36 v 19 Moortown 2ndXV
This was a game in which the Heath boys were fully in control for the vast majority of the match. They played some excellent rugby in difficult conditions and all 19 players came out of the game with huge credit.
Man of the match awards go to Matt DAY in the forwards and young scrum half, Ben DAVIES in the backs. Matt covered every blade of grass (and patch of mud !!!) on the pitch and tackled anything that moved. In extremely difficult conditions, Ben provided an excellent display at ‘9’. His link between forwards and backs was very good with passes finding their target throughout.