Match Report: Saturday 19 September 2015

Reported by Tomorgar
FINAL SCORE: Bradford & Bingley 32 vs Heath RUFC 14

First half lead thrown away in second.

Heath travelled to Bingley to take on an unbeaten Bradford & Bingley (‘Bees’) and hoping to spring a surprise. However, Jack Sheldrake and Naz Salama were late withdrawals so Gareth Webb and Darren Neilly moved up from the bench with Cameron Ramsden and Alistair Gordon replacing them.

From the start, Heath gave away a penalty and Bradford & Bingley went ahead: 3 – 0. Undeterred, Heath re-grouped and gradually got on top with Heath’s pack looking solid and their backs seeking openings.

15 minutes in, a good kick for touch by Ezra Hinchliffe set up the first real chance for Heath and from the lineout the pack pushed for the line. The ball came out for scrum-half Dominic Walsh to pass to fly-half Mark Sales and his slick pass inside made the opening for Hinchliffe to scythe through the Bees defence and go under the posts. Jack Crabtree converted to put Heath ahead: 3 – 7.

The Bees took heart from this and came back strongly. Prop Paul Sinfield made his mark with a try on 23 mins which, with the conversion, put Bees back in front: 10 – 7. On 28 mins, another Heath infringement provided a penalty for the home side which increased their lead to 13 – 7.

From a scrum, Neilly picked up and broke clear. Walsh was in support and then the ball came out to Callum Harriett-Brown. He seemed certain to score but was held up just short on 34 mins. Heath were probing the defence now and Crabtree set up the next attack with a great kick to the corner. Fergus Marsden and Rondene Johnson were replaced by Gordon and Alex McFadden.

A penalty attempt by Crabtree for Heath went badly wide but nobody expected what was to happen next. Bees swung into attack and created an overlap but Harriett-Brown anticipated well and intercepted a pass just outside Heath’s 22m. He set off like the Flying Scotsman to race under the posts. Crabtree converted to put Heath ahead deep into injury time: 13 – 14.

Heath did well in the first half, doing all that was asked of them by coach Dave Harrison and in spite of a string of penalties going against them. They just about deserved to be in front.

Cameron Ramsden came on for Jacob Storey in a straight swap for the left wing berth. Bees were all fired up for the start of the second half but Heath stood firm with Howard Hanks tackling with the ferocity of a seagull stealing chips and Matt Beasty and Ian Downsborough displaying equal bounce-back-ability.

Following a lengthy delay due to the injury of Bees’ prop, Sinfield, Heath were caught napping as the game re-started and shipped a simple try. The conversion was missed but the home side were back in the lead on 50 mins: 18 – 14.

Heath could not get back on track as the game stuttered on and they conceded penalties. Thankfully, Bees could not take advantage, thus keeping Heath in the game. Marsden came back on for Beasty on 55 mins. The game became increasingly scrappy as Bees turned the screw, mostly pinning Heath in their own 22m zone.

As they game began to peter out, Heath were struggling to resist the pressure put on them by Bees who pounced on a mistake by Webb to score a converted try in the corner: 25 – 14 on 70 mins.

Another Bees attack saw Walsh sent to the sin-bin as things went from bad to worse for the visitors. From the re-start, Bees scored a bonus-point try and conversion to round off a miserable time for Heath, resulting in a 32 -14 defeat. After a keenly-contested first half it was regrettable that the game generally lacked much cohesion in the second.

......and so to next week – Hullensians at home!

Tries 2 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 0
Conversions 2 Attendance 225
Click any image to enlarge