Rugby round-up: Heath make it two wins out of two at Scarborough

Heath made it two wins out of two as they beat Scarborough 25-18 on the east coast.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 9:11 am
Old Crossleyans 28 – 7 Beverley RUFC

Heath travelled over to the east coast in buoyant mood following their opening day win against Pocklington but the side showed several changes due to injuries and unavailability.

The pack saw the return of captain Chris Moore, Paul Turner and Gavin Rhodes replacing Jack Pilcher work commitments and Saif Boussadda injury with Olly Cook taking a turn on the bench. In the backs Dan Cole replaced Olly Scrimshaw, who was also on the bench, and Matt Hallett had a deserved starting position with Tom Owen unavailable. Also on the bench was Joe Shipman.

The pitch at Scarborough looked in pristine condition and weather conditions were favourable with a wind blowing across the field. Heath began in confident mood with Ben Stringer prominent with a couple of strong runs making good yardage.

Josh Kelly of Old Rishworthians. Photo: Jade Kilbride

Next up Elliott Spiers had a fine run to the corner as Scarborough were struggling to adapt to the pace of the game and following two scrums won by Heath’s powerful pack it came as no surprise to see Will McLoughlin go over for a try to open Heaths account,5-0 with 10 minutes played.

This seemed to spur the home side into action and they began to put some passes together and with some astute kicking it was Heath’s turn to feel the pressure.

The home side reduced the arrears with a penalty after 20 minutes, 5-3 and with Heaths line outs not working and with a lack of ball, Scarborough began to put more pressure on the visitors defence.

However, with 25 minutes played, Dan Cole put in a super kick finding touch 10 metres from the home try-line to see Heath mount an attack. Matt Beasty claimed the ball and charges from Gavin Rhodes and Chris Moore set up the next phase of play.

It was Scarboroughs turn to deal with the pressure and Heath to take advantage. Dom Walsh got the ball out to Callum Harriott-Brown who then slipped it inside to Eddie Cartwright who in turn released a supporting Matt Hallett who went over for a try in the corner to round off a superb move.

A missed conversion but Heath were back in control 10-3 on the half hour mark.

Unfortunately, from the re-start Heath were not concentrating gifting the ball to the hosts and they scored a simple try in the corner to reduce the arrears 10-8.

Heath needed to cut out the mistakes from re-starts and get back to playing good rugby and when Joe Morrison went on a super jinking run he set up a Heath attack.

The supporting Dan Cole fed Gavin Rhodes and he proved unstoppable as the second row went over for Heaths third try, again a missed conversion, but a lead of 15-8 as half time approached was well deserved.

Olly Cook replaced Paul Turner at the start of the second half and he was quickly involved making a strong run to set up a Heath attack.

An unfortunate injury to Gavin Rhodes on 50 minutes saw Joe Shipman enter the field and as the visitors re-adjusted Scarborough took advantage and following several missed tackles from Heath the home side scored a converted try to draw the scores level 15-15 with 50 minutes played.

The game now became a real contest as both sides looked to score and when Dan Cole slotted over a penalty after 64 minutes it looked as if Heath may just about hold on.

With players struggling with cramp and injury both teams made changes and fresh legs were required. Chris Moore was replaced by Paul Turner and Olly Scrimshaw came on for Matt Beasty, but with 10 minutes remaining Scarborough levelled the scores with a penalty, 18-18.

At this point coach Harrison began to make further changes as Chris Moore returned with Olly Cook going off and Gavin Rhodes came on for Will McLoughlin.

With some of the Scarborough players looking very tired Heaths fitness levels began to kick in and when Ben Stringer charged forwards he was hauled down by a desperate home defence but a supporting Elliott Spiers managed to get hold of the ball and touchdown in the corner, converted by Dan Cole, and a score of 25-18 was fully justified for Heath.

Scarborough were out of the game and from the re-start Heath managed to retain ball and wind down the clock for an excellent away day win.

Although the game was littered by mistakes it was yet another epic battle from two very good sides. North One East is proving very enjoyable for Heath with two wins from two and they sit proudly in third spot in the league.

Next week Heath entertain Malton and Norton and it is well worth a visit to watch some exciting and entertaining rugby.

Heath Secondss warmed up for their first league game with a frantic contest against a well drilled Ilkley team.

Heath welcomed back Alex McFadden after injury and gave a debut to new signing Gareth Hall.

Injuries dominated the start of the match with Ben Fairbank dropping out in the warm up and Si Brown sidelined early on with a serious hamstring injury, Jack Thornton replaced him.

Ilkley pressed hard and scored two early tries for a 0-12 score line. Heath were panicking and rushing at this stage, which suited the visitors as they capitalised on mistakes and mistimed plays.

Undeterred, Heath got a grip on the game and dominated the middle part of the half. Heath lost the talented Harry Stevens to a serious looking knee injury, with fellow colt product Ben Gianotti replacing him at fullback.

The outstanding back row of Matthew Wilkinson, Andrew Coates, and Brook Ward were everywhere, turning over ball and making yards.

Centres Jack Bruce and Danny Greenwood were finding space off Hall’s excellent hands and sustained pressure resulted in Wilkinson emerging with a try from close range. Heath continued to push forward with Emlyn James, McFadden and George Heron carrying well and setting up the position for Ward to score, converted by Thornton. Right on halftime Ilkley’s lively scrum half spotted a mismatch to regain a seven point lead, 12-19 at half time.

Adam Milner replaced James who had put in an excellent shift. The second half started well with Heath looking the most likely to score the next points.

Good kicks in behind by Hall caused confusion with Tobias Hinchliffe and Oli Burbidge benefitting and pushing closer to the line.

Another injury, this time to the unfortunate Max Rowntree, Richard Cole entered the fray. Wilkinson grabbed his second try from close range, Cole missed a relatively easy conversion. Paddy Kerr continued to dominate up front and Gianotti collected a number of difficult kicks and returned them with interest.

Ilkley’s powerful winger scored from half way line, brushing past a number of tired attempted tackles, converted for a 9 point lead. Undeterred heath regathered and Cole kicked into good positions.

Lineouts continued to function well and sub Owain Griffiths pressured the opposition 10, stripping the ball to crash over, Cole converted.

With time ticking down, Ilkley completed the scoring with their impressive centre powering through and scoring a well deserved converted try.

This was a great advert for second team rugby with both sides showing what they capable of and taking away a lot of positives.

Speedy recovery to the injured players. Next week the Seconds travel to Keighley to open their league campaign.

A goal-kicking masterclass from fly half Josh Kelly gave Rishworthians their first Yorkshire One victory of the season over Bradford Salem.

He kicked seven out of eight penalty attempts, only missing with his last effort. Six of his kicks, including one from just inside his own half, came in the first half.

Both defences were dominant throughout, although Rishworthians had by far the better of the first half, with outstanding performances from Isaac Riley, Corey White and Liam Phillips in the backs and Gerard Rollings and Simanu Tusiga in the forwards.

“We perhaps did not get as much chance to show our true potential because whenever we threatened they infringed, so we kicked the points,” said head coach Richard Brown.

But Riley and Rollings both got over the line only to be adjudged held up. Rishworthians built up a nine-point lead before the visitors finally got on the scoresheet with a try from a driving maul after a lineout near the home line.

Kelly kicked his first goal after good work by centre Doug Heseltine, Tusiga and Phillips.

A good tackle by Phillips brought a second successful kick and fine play by White and Rollings gained a third.

Whenever Salem got a penalty they opted for territory and it paid off with the try, but straight from the restart they offended and Kelly kicked his fourth score.

The Rishworthian defence then held well to weather a storm from Salem, with two good exits from pressure to take them upfield.

Tusiga picked up well in the loose to set the backs going and right wing Riley was just held up in the corner. They continued to press and Rollings dived through a mass of players only to be adjudged held up.

A strong tackle by left wing Anthony Shoesmith brought another Kelly successful kick and right on the break he added a sixth to make it 18–5 at half-time.

Salem came back strongly in the second half and, although the home men defended well, the outstanding Salem right wing Jake Green went over for a fine try, but was unable to convert his score.

From the restart however Shoesmith gathered the ball in typical style to set up Kelly’s seventh successful kick.

A brilliant lineout steal by James McHugh set up a move which brought a further penalty and Kelly’s only miss.

Rishworthians continued to press and Shoesmith almost got in. With time running out Salem broke away for the impressive Green to snatch his second try.

With seconds left Rishworthians restarted and an attempt to kick the ball out ricocheted to the Salem backs, who set off up the pitch and only a timely inception by Shoesmith saved the home team’s blushes.

Rishworthians’ Development team won 48–10 at Bradford Salem. Tries came from Fraser Swarbrooke, Kurt Sutcliffe, Lee Atkinson, Alfie Dow, Craig Strickland (2) and Harry Doherty, who also kicked the rest of the points.

Old Crossleyans started with high intensity against Beverley, dominating early territory and possession.

The home team’s rampant forwards were making up for lost time, crafting many phases and generating quick ruck ball for the dangerous and more purposeful looking backs.

Billy Hammond spearheaded the midfield in his more accommodating position of Centre, his thrusting runs on the back of good early ruck ball started to test the Beverley defence to its limit.

Relentless forward drives from the returning Martin Hamer and the ever-present Sam Ives helped set the platform for Joe Gallagher to pull the strings and launch his back line on relenting waves of attack.

Beverley although resolute in defence began to show indiscipline without the ball deep in their half, the Crocs’ capitalised and through Joe Gallagher kicked three consecutive penalty goals giving the Crocs an early 9–0 lead.

Beverley frustrations increased as they were met with equally strong defence, as they tried to play from midfield, the ‘jackaling’ of Jack and Billy Hammond snuffed out any attack halting their momentum.

Finally, following a consistent barrage of attacks by the home side the try breakthrough came, young James Hinchliffe took possession after broken play in midfield, he then showed slight of hand a turn of pace to outwit the disjointed defence and race over unopposed from 40 metres.

Joe Gallagher added the extras stretching the lead to 16–0.

The game continued in the same pattern with Crocs retaining possession deep in the Beverley half offering up some free-flowing expansive rugby.

Chris Vine and Josh Hunt came temptingly close to score but the next breakthrough came on the back of powerful forward drives and interchanges between Nick Faulkner, Navneet Sembi and Cameron Brannan lead to a short-range drive to the line by Federicko Gandolfo.

Up stepped Joe Gallagher once again to add the extras stretching the lead to 23–0.

Beverley’s misery mounted following a yellow card showed to their no 10 late in the first half. This did nothing to help them contain the now super dominant home side.

The second half started with Beverley seizing early territory and possession.

They strung together many phases in the Crocs’ 22 but frustratingly couldn’t puncture the hardened uncompromising defence, now a becoming a hallmark of the home team.

Beverley momentum was consistently lost through poor kicking and unforced errors which was clearly frustrating and out of character for the away team.

Crocs final breakthrough try once again came from loose play in midfield when Joe Stott scooped up the ball and raced into the Beverley half fixing defenders before releasing Billy Hammond in space down the right flank, the Beverley cover defence swarmed across but an intelligent pass into the midfield left the cover defence wrong footed and the supporting back rower Rob Oliver gladly accepted the pass to have a clear run to the line and score.

Joe Gallagher failed to add the extras leaving crocs’ 28–0.

The Crocs were now out of sight with just the bonus point to play for.

Despite this it was Beverley who continued to build phases of play showing good character. Through eye catching runs from their no 9 they eventually got their rewards with a well worked try after the crocs’ defence had been stretched and outnumbered. The touchline conversion was added bringing the game to close at 28–7.

The score line perhaps flattered the Crocs as Beverley certainly played their part in what was a spectacle of great running rugby from both sides.

Halifax Vandals produced an impressive display as they registered a 31-19 bonus point victory away at West Park Leeds.

Aaron Carrington scored twice, while Chris Robinson, Jimmy Crowther and Danny Richardson also crossed as the Vandals put the hosts to the sword.

Having failed to take their chances in a 28-19 opening day defeat at Castleford, the Vandals made no such mistake this time around, crossing three times in the first half and twice more after the break to quell any home hopes of a West Park revival.

The forwards laid the foundations for the win, with dominance in the scrum and lineout, while the backs looked dangerous throughout.

And it was no surprise when the impressive Robinson scythed through for the opening score. The pack put a WPL scrum under pressure, forcing a rushed clearance that only fell to Joe Greewood. The Vandals full-back seized his chance to break through the first line of defence - and although he was brought down, quick ball released Robinson to dance his way over. Crowther converted.

If the first try was a team effort, the second was all about the pack. A penalty to the corner saw the Vandals set up a catch and drive which was hauled down just short, however the Vandals recycled the ball for Carrington crash over from short range.

The third try followed shortly after when the opportunistic Crowther caught the hosts napping as he took a quick tap 5m out to run over almost unopposed.

The result was pretty much sealed three minutes after the break when Richardson ran a great line and powered over for the bonus point score. Crowther converted.

However Vandals were then guilty of switching off as the hosts hit back with two tries of their own, to give the home fans hope. The Vandals, though, kept their composure and put the result beyond doubt when Carrington scored his second, following great runs from Robinson and Joe Bryson. Crowther converted.

There was late reward for WPL in injury time when they scored a 70m breakaway try against the 14 men of Vandals, with Jordan Bloem having been yellow carded for a deliberate knock on a minute before.

Halifax Vandals Seconds were leading 5-0 through a Dion Groombridge try when their game at Leeds Corinthians came to a premature end. Corinthians full-back Arron Iveson suffered a bad injury on 15 minutes, forcing the game to be called off. Vandals wish Iveson a speedy recovery.