Match Report: Saturday 21 February 2015

Reported by Roger Morley
FINAL SCORE: Heath RUFC 13 vs York RUFC 27

Better effort but, still not enough for a win!

Heath welcomed back Dave Montgomery, Jack Sheldrake, and Hamish Pratt and Kyle Tetley made his debut on the wing in a much-reorganised side after the debacle at Settle last time out.
From the start, Montgomery was in it, making offloads first to Ian Downsborough then to Ezra Hinchliffe as Heath attacked. It came as no surprise that York were caught offside for Hinchliffe to open Heath’s account on 5 mins: 3 – 0. However, following a loss in the scrum, York broke quickly. Walsh kicked to touch but a swiftly-taken throw-in by York caught Heath napping and the visitors scored a simple try on 9 mins. It was not converted: 3 – 5.
The visitors’ kicking game was excellent and on 11 mins they set up a lineout 5 metres out. Heath’s defence held and then Mark Puttick, Chris Piper and Olly Cook combined to attack and then Montgomery and Hamish Pratt linked well. Unfortunately, after Heath had battled their way back into the game, on 22 mins some inept tackling allowed York to score a second unconverted try in the corner: 3 – 10.
Heath stormed back and after a couple of penalties a York prop was sin-binned on 26 mins. From the resulting scrum the Heath pack surged over the York line to score a try which Hinchliffe converted to level the scores: 10 – 10 on 29 mins.
Towering second-row Fergus Marsden was injured on 32 mins and he was replaced by Rob Depledge. Weak tackling by Heath on 35 mins opened the way for York to score their 3rd try, somewhat against the run of play. The conversion was good: 10 – 17. Once again, Heath came back strongly and York conceded a penalty just before half time but Hinchliffe pushed the ball wide.
In the first 10 mins of the second half the sides tested each other out. For Heath, Cook might have scored but he was bundled into touch before gaining full momentum and Alex McFadden made a strong run. York were giving away penalties and from one, on 51 mins, Hinchliffe hit the post with the ball bouncing back into play. Heath continued attacking, looking for openings and from another penalty, on 55mins Hinchliffe was successful, closing the gap to 13 – 17.
Heath were back in it now and a superb 50 metres pressure kick by their fly half set up the next phase of play from a lineout close to the York line but the visitors defended well. Eddie Cartwright came on for fullback Cameron Ramsden on 63 mins. Almost immediately, York had a penalty which just sneaked over to make it 13 – 20. As York gained the upper hand, Heath struggled and their task was made harder when Si Brown was sin-binned on 67 mins.
Pratt prevented a try, holding a York forward up over the line, as Heath clung on with 10 mins remaining. The pressure was too much and York got their bonus-point 4th try on 72 mins and this was converted: 13 - 27.
Heath didn’t appear down-hearted and Pratt set up their next attack which was backed up by Darren Neilly, Cook and Piper. Gareth Owen replaced McFadden and continued effort from Heath saw Pratt and Cook go very close, with the home team desperate to score. Tetley, Montgomery and Owen all challenged but they could find no way through.
Heath ran out of time but they had put in a much better effort against 3rd-placed York which bodes well for next week’s big derby at Old Brodleians.

Tries 1 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 2
Conversions 1 Attendance
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