Match Report: Saturday 19 March 2016

Reported by Tom Walton
FINAL SCORE: Selby RUFC 31 vs Heath RUFC 21

Error strewn, banana skin of a game

Heath travelled to lowly Selby looking for a win, after three defeats on the trot but came away with yet another loss to add to our woes. The home side were desperate for points as they looked to crawl clear of the bottom two places in the league and put in a performance which earned them all five points against a Heath side who seem to have lost their way.

Missing from the Heath line up were Josh White, Matt Beasty and Mark Sales all injured in the bruising battle last week against Bradford and Bingley but with Ryan Hunter and Peter Birkett back in the team along with the returning Ezra Hinchliffe and Sam Pollard the team looked well balanced and hopes were high as they kicked off.

After only three minutes a clever kick from Pollard set up a Heath attack and as the ball was fed out to Callum Harriett- Brown the winger was bundled into touch a metre short of the try line. From the resulting play a clever pass from captain Dom Walsh set up Alex McFadden for Heaths opening try, converted by Ezra Hinchliffe, and Heath had the perfect start 7-0 after six minutes.

From the restart Selby hit back straight away and as Heath made mistakes, something they continued to do throughout the game, the home side scored a try on ten minutes, 5-7. The home side continued to press as Heath were desperately defending, and giving away penalties, so it came as no surprise to see Selby go in for a second try on twenty minutes to lead 12-7.

Heath needed to re-group and from the restart a Selby knock on saw Ian Downsborough control the scrum. Dom Walsh fed Howard Hanks but the pass was adjudged to be forwards and a certain try went begging. Superb work from Cameron Ramsden set up Ezra Hinchliffe who released Harriet-Brown to go over in the corner after twenty three minutes and Heath were back in front as Hinchliffe produced a brilliant touch line conversion, 12-14.

Heath continued to be in control and a Jack Crabtree kick through for touch enabled Ryan Hunter to win line out ball but the move fell down. Both sides were fairly even as half time approached but Heath just about deserved to be in front.

The second half saw Selby come out with all guns blazing and on forty three minutes they scored an easy try in the corner but failed with the conversion and they led 17-14. Captain Walsh was urging his players on as the visitors went in search of gaining the lead again. On fifty minutes Olly Cook and Si Brown replaced Ryan Hunter and Jack Crabtree as Coach Dave Harrison shuffled his side. Ezra Hinchliffe moved to stand off and Brown slotted into the centre.

Sam Pollard was having a sound game at full back and his astute kicking set up Heaths next attack. Following several penalties by the home side, who were desperate to keep in touch with the score line, an attempted clearance was charged down by Matt Baxendale and he touched down for Heaths third try and Heath re-took the lead, 17-21, on sixty minutes. Heath were now looking for that elusive bonus point try and were confidently throwing the ball about but Baxendale was unfortunately injured and' as Crabtree came back on' Heaths momentum had gone and Selby pounced with a converted bonus point fourth try for them to lead 24-21 with ten minutes to go.

By now Heath were down and Selby realised they could clinch all five points. Heath could not respond and on seventy three minutes a race for the ball following a kick through was won by Selby and the score rose to 31-21. Jack Raby came on for Howard Hanks, to make his first team debut but Heath had no response left and despite Selby having a player sin-binned for the last five minutes Heath could not get over the line and lost out.

This was a very disappointing game to lose for Heath but Selby were always going to be a banana skin as they were desperate for a win to move them out of the bottom two and give them a chance of survival.

HEATH RUFC MATCH STATISTICS
Tries 3 Drop Goals 0
Penalty Tries 0 Penalty Goals 0
Conversions 3 Attendance
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