Rugby round-up: Strong performances earn some good results for Calderdale sides

Heath snatched a dramatic try to secure a 31-31 draw against league leaders Ilkley.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 8:53 am
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 9:02 am
Heath's Eddie Cartwright

Heath had to make several changes to their starting line up due to injuries to Joe Morrison, Alex McFadden and the late withdrawal of Dan Cole. This saw the backs having to be shuffled about with wing Elliott Spiers moving to centre, Luke Saltonstall starting on the wing, Eddie Cartwright slotted in at fly half with Matt Hallett taking up the full back berth.

Jack Pilcher replaced Alex McFadden at hooker and Matt Beasty had a starting berth in the second row replacing Saif Boussadda who took his place on the bench alongside Olly Cook and Tobias Hinchliffe.

Heath lined up playing towards the river end and were punished immediately from the kick off as they failed to gather the ball and Ilkley took advantage with a try in the first minute, 5-0.

Heath's Eddie Cartwright

Not the best of starts. Unfortunately, the Ilkley wing Harry Harrison was injured in play and was replaced.

Heath tried to make amends for the poor start and in their first scrum Ilkley prop Hugo Lawrence had to leave the field with a chest injury and was replaced.

As expected Heath had to contend with some superb back line play from the visitors and were prepared to slug it out but they had no answer to them scoring a second converted try on 20 minutes and a lead of 12-0 looked ominous.

All credit to Heath as they kept plugging away and Ilkley were guilty of switching off when a quick penalty from Chris Moore saw him make good yardage followed up by Dom Walsh who was alert to a pass to Eddie Cartwright to open Heath's account on 25 minutes and reduce the arrears, 12-5.

Moortown v Old Brods. Photo: Robin Sugden. Dom Georgiou

The visitors response was immediate and some inept tackling from the home defence saw them score a third try under the posts to restore their lead 19-5 on 27 minutes.

Enter Olly Cook and Saif Boussadda who replaced Matt Beasty and Paul Turner.

The game was cut and thrust with a no holds barred approach and the large crowd were enthralled by the pace and brutal, but legal, tackling though, once again, Heath were undone by the Ilkley backs as they danced through a rather static home defence with another converted try to increase their lead to 26-5 and secure a bonus point with minutes to half time.

Undeterred, Heath's response was immediate and, from a line out, Ben Stringer caught the ball then, from the resulting drive, Jack Pilcher scored a second try for Heath, converted by Eddie Cartwright, and a half time score of 26-12.

Dinnington v Old Crossleyans. Matty Beswick

This was a difficult half for the home side but credit must go to their resilience in dealing with the visitors backs - it was going to be an interesting second half.

Heath began well as Ben Stringer charged down an attempted Ilkley clearance and when Luke Saltonstall collected yet another clearance, his pass to Matt Hallett saw the full back go on a run before being halted yards short of the try line.

Ilkley were under pressure but, true to form, they made another break scoring a fifth try on 48 minutes and a score of 31-12 looked too much for Heath to claw back.

However, Heath were still prepared to take the game to Ilkley and, following good work from Eddie Cartwright and Tom Owen, Ilkley were finding it difficult to keep out a rampant Heath side.

Dinnington v Old Crossleyans. Sam Ives

The visitors were struggling to cope with the onslaught from Heath and when Elliott Spiers picked up the ball from Walsh, he scored under the posts for a converted try and Heath were back in the game 31-17 with 15 minutes remaining.

Ilkley were now under pressure and gave away a series of penalties in a desperate attempt to prevent any further scores but with the Heath forwards dominant up popped Eddie Cartwright for his second try, converted by Matt Hallett, and a score of 31-24 secured a losing bonus point but Heath wanted more.

Urged on by a very vocal home crowd, Heath continued to batter a bedraggled Ilkley defence and, with the home pack in complete control, yet another forward from Ilkley had to leave the field resulting in uncontested scrums.

This helped Heath and with Ilkley missing a couple of players Olly Cook charged over the line carrying a few visiting players with him, for a try, converted by Cartwright and Heath had snatched a draw as the referee blew full time.

The game was intense from start to finish and was probably one of the best games played at North Dean. It was perhaps the first real challenge for Heath and although going into the game as underdogs they showed a true united spirit with everyone working for each other. Heath were never finished; Ilkley gave their all in an attempt to try and cling on for a win - both sides should be applauded for a superb game.

This result sees Ilkley maintain top spot alongside Old Brodleians, level on points. Heath are tucked in behind and, no doubt, will be buoyed up for their visit to local rivals Cleckheaton, who sit in fifth spot, next week.

Moortown v Old Brods. Photo: Robin Sugden. Chris Georgiou

Old Brods stormed to the top of the league with a fine performance at Far Moss, winning 30-18 at Moortown.

In the opening exchanges Brods pressed the visitors to dominate possession and territory; however when a clearance kick downfield was chased by the Moortown wingman. it looked like the ball would bounce into touch.

However the Brods defender misjudged the bounce , knocked on and in trying to clear the ball it rebounded off the advancing wingman who gleefully picked up and had a clear run to the Brods posts, an early lead added to by the conversion. 7-0.

Brods restarted with a kick off deep into the home side’s 22 , a good chase resulted in Brods recovering the ball and good inter-passing led to the visitors going close.

Moortown’s scrambled defence held on and the Woodhead men enjoyed a period of domination however unforced errors and penalties allowed the home team to hold out.

Eventually the Moortown defence was stretched was to the limit themselves and they conceded a penalty in front of their posts.

Town took the opportunity to take the three points after 17 minutes play.

Moortown immediately responded with their pacy backs stretching the Brods’ defence who conceded a penalty for offside and Farley added three points to the score line with a well taken penalty 10-3 after 35 minutes play.

Brods upped their game and attacked down the left with strong running by Benny Pritchett taking them deep into the Moortown 22.

When the ball was moved left Adam Sutcliffe forcing his way over in the corner to bring the score back to 10-8.

It was a lively start to the second half with Moortown showing some real pace in attack.

Harry Aaronsen took play deep into Brods territory and the visitors conceded a penalty for offside which was converted by Sherridan Farley - 13-8.

Moortown continued to attack from the restart however the play broke down when they looked like scoring in the bottom corner much to the relief of the Brods supporters.

Brods responded with strong running out of defence led by their captain Benny Pritchett to set up a good position in the Moortown half.

The ball was spread wide and further good handling put Dom Georgiou in a position to beat his opposite number and touch down in the right hand corner.

The try put the two sides level 13-13 but it was the Woodhead boys who were in the ascendency.

Great play by the Hipperholme boys once more took them into Moortown territory and the ball was moved left and right as the visitors probed for an opening.

It came when Danny Chappell took his chance to ghost through a Brods the lead for the first time -13-18.

Moortown remained dangerous with the ball in hand and were a constant threat with the Brods defenders working hard to keep them at bay.

Brods really had to up their game when reduced to 14 men due to a yellow card however they rallied with some excellent interplay down the middle of the park.

The ball was moved right and Adam Sutcliffe once again showed his growing influence on the team by linking from fullback as the extra man and touch down in the corner for a great team try plus a bonus point.

Town converted from the touchline to increase the Brods lead 13-25. The Woodhead boys really hit their straps with forwards carrying strongly Cameron Wroot and Rob Jennings created the position for Town an easier shot at goal he was judged to have put his foot over the dead ball line and the try was disallowed.

Moortown stayed in the game as the clock was ticking down and with good ball from a lineout the home side moved the ball left to their wingman who beat the covering defenders to touch down in the corner 18-25.

In the closing minutes Brods again took the game to their hosts with their strong forward play in centre field and it was Rob Jennings who picked up a loose ball and calmly transferred the ball to his right and Dom Georgiou, this time the young winger made no mistake and scored his third try and the final score of the match - 18-30.

This was another good performance by the Woodhead boys. Strong forward play is providing a platform for the backs to display their skills and the mood in the camp is as you would expect, buoyant.

They now look forward to their next challenge which is a home fixture, 3pm, at Woodhead against Malton and Norton.

Old Crossleyans got a deserved 17-14 win at Dinnington thanks to a solid defensive display headed by the outstanding forwards coach Joe Buckle.

The game started with Dinnington settling into a ’10 man’ style rugby pattern playing to their strength of their big pack.

The Crocs stuck to their winning principles looking to move the ball and run through the phases at every opportunity, however the Crocs were hampered by consistent indiscipline at the break down for which the referee was ruthless in his officiating for both teams.

However, the fist opening came on the back of some excellent rush defence from the Crocs catching out Dinnington when Chris Vine intercepted a loose pass to race 35 metres unopposed and score in the corner.

Joe Gallagher stepped to add the extra from the touchline giving the Crocs an early lead of 0-7.

The Crocs built on this early momentum and always looked threatening in possession, with Nick Rawsthorne and Billy Hammond proving a handful for the home defence.

The Crocs soon crafted another opportunity following a strong drive from Sam Ives leading to Matthew Beswick finding space on the wing, his quick feet allowed him to evade his opposite number with ease and following a strong hand off against the covering Dinnington No.9 he crashed over to score a well-earned try.

Joe Gallagher again adding the extra’s to stretch the lead to 0-14.

Dinnington then started to apply pressure on the away team, building territory from their strong forwards and seizing on the poor breakdown discipline of the Crocs.

After a string of penalties in the Crocs 22 the defence finally buckled when the Dinnington hooker burrowed over to score from close range.

Dinno managed to add the extra’s taking the score to 7-14 at half time.

The second half was quickly underway and the game entered a period of frustration for both teams, with neither being able to retain possession long enough to create any threat, the zero-tolerance officiating was poorly managed by both teams with both repeatedly offending at the breakdown.

Frustration finally boiled over when the Dinnington no.7 made a late tackle on Crocs centre Nick Rawsthorne, this led to the first of five yellow cards in the second half.

Nick gladly accepted the chance at goal and from 40 metres out added the three points, giving the away team a two-score advantage 7-17.

However, the rest of the game was all about Dinnington, they began to retain possession well and frustrated the Crocs team who remined resolute in their defence.

The indiscipline from the Crocs though wasn’t going unnoticed by the referee, who began to turn to the yellow cards after many team warnings.

In a bizarre remaining 10 mins Croc’s lost four players to yellow cards and the inevitable shortage in defence numbers gave Dinnington their reward when they crashed over following a series of short-range drives, taking the score to 14-17.

Dinnington, who were now spurred on by the four man advantage, struggled to adapt their game to find the space and this coupled with the Crocs resolute defence, which was simply outstanding, denied Dinnington any opportunities and eventually time ran out for the home team.

Another deserved victory for the Crocs on the road.

Rishworthians gave their poorest display of the season and lost to a side whose

performance was marginally better in their 18-13 defeat to Leodiensians.

Either side might have won it with kicks, but neither goal kicker could manage anything other than a single penalty.

Otherwise the nearest Rishworthians’ Josh Kelly got was one that hit the post while Leos’ Max Sears even missed one in front of the posts.

The visitors tried to run the ball whenever they could, but were unable to match the form of the previous week and it was not until they changed to a pick and go strategy that they achieved any success.

They might have stolen it at the end with their only good backs movement, but wing Isaac Riley was just tackled into touch short of the line to end the game.

One positive note for Rishworthians was the outstanding performance of the back row of Ethan Pollard, Greg Withers, Callum Bell and later Simanu Tusiga.

From the start though the visitors put themselves under pressure giving away several penalties, which led to an unconverted Leos try touched down by wing Charlie Clark, who went on to get a hat trick.

Rishworthians play was scrappy and they gave away too many penalties, one of which brought Sears’ only successful kick.

Pollard and Riley combined to go close and then a superb tackle denied centre Doug Heseltine.

In another attack, a Kelly kick ricocheted off a player and Clark kicked ahead.

The visitors were unable to get back and he ran on to touch down a second unconverted try.

Rishworthians then managed to get over but the ball was held up and minutes later a poor pass denied them a try. They had to settle for Kelly’s only successful penalty to end the first half.

In the second period Rishworthians’ pick and go game began to pay dividends and eventually the outstanding Bell forced his way over for an unconverted try.

A penalty took Leos back to the visitors’ line and their own pick and go effort brought a third try for Clark, who had switched to flanker.

It was pick and go then at the other end with Withers touching down as Rishworthians finally got their game together, but it was too little, too late. Oliver Marshall on the left wing was denied a try for a forward pass and Riley was denied on the right for the final whistle.

The Development team lost 17 – 12 to a strong Morley side. The Rishworthian tries came from Alfie Dow and Finn Sutcliffe, who also added a conversion.

Halifax Vandals returned to winning ways after an enthralling 33-16 win over Burley at Warley.

Having lost two on the bounce on the road, in the Vase to Skipton and in the league to Bramley, Vandals were determined to bounce back in front of their home fans.

And despite some shaky periods, when an impressive Burley team turned up the heat, the Vandals got the job done - executing their game plan to the letter and playing some free-flowing rugby along the way.

Tom Fowler, Jordan Bloem, Jamie Richardson and Aaron Carrington (2) all crossed for tries, while Jimmy Crowther slotted over four conversions.

It was the visitors whose were the quickest out the blocks, though, making good yards playing down the hill and punishing Vandals indiscipline with two successfully penalties.

However the Vandals kept their focus and although Crowther was held up short from a blindside move off a 5m scrum, Fowler was quickest to react to score his first try for the club. Crowther converted.

On the the 20-minute mark, the Vandals moved into a clear 14-6 lead as Bloem finished off a powerful break from the impressive Andrew Binns. Crowther tagged on the extras.

The third try followed shortly after as Richardson this time profited from quick ball following Joe Greenwood’s break.

At 19-6 up at the break, and playing down the slope, the Vandals faithful could have been forgiven for thinking it was job done. However Burley have proved this season they are no pushovers - and they started the second half on fire.

Ill-discipline cost the Vandals precious yardage and possession - and the pressure told as they crossed out wide from a well-worked move.

There were signs of a wobble or two, however by sticking to the game plan, the home side were able to work their way back into the game - and they effectively killed off the Burley fightback just short of the hour mark with the try of the day.

Greenwood recovered a long clearance from deep in the 22 and set off on the counter, beating three men on a 40m charge down the left flank before finding the supporting Bloem, who carried the ball with purpose to create the opening for Carrington to canter home from 20m out. Crowther converted.

If Carrington’s first try had a touch of Fijian flair about it, his second was straight out the Vandals textbook. Burnside, West, Richardson, Brown and Sim all made hard yards picking and going before Carrington added the finishing touch from a metre out. Crowther slotted over from the touch line.

Credit to the visitors, through, as they continued to press hard - and with injuries hitting Vandals. forcing scrum-half Ryan Arnold and winger Tony McAspurn to play in the back row, they deservedly scored their second try out wide.

However it was too little, too late as Vandals were able to run down the clock to clinch the bonus point win.

Halifax Vandals 2nds registered a hard-fought 24-21 win over Burley at Kirkstall after a thrilling contest.

The game was played in the right spirit throughout and was a credit to grassroots rugby, with both the home and away sides bolstered by players from Bramley and Stanley Rodillians.

The Vandals ended up travelling with 11 players after three last-minute drop outs due to positive Covid tests. However two players from Rodillians and two from Bramley ensured that they had 15 players for kick-off.

The game started well for the Vandals as they went 12-0 up through tries from Ben Fleming and stand-in No 8 Richard from Stanley Rodillians and one conversion from Ben Simms.

Burley fought back to cross for a converted try and although Vandals had two tries chalked off for knock-ons, the score remained 12-7 at the break.

Burley was fastest out the blocks in the second half as they moved into a 14-12 lead, but the Vandals immediately fought back with impressive forward play.

Callum Gerrard and Chris Metcalfe both crossed for their first tries for the club, with some impressive yards made by former skipper Dave French setting them up. Simms added one conversion.

At late flourish from Burley saw them close the gap with a late converted try but the Vandals saw out the final two minutes to clinch the win.

Ultimately, the Vandals’ impressive defensive display through out the 80 minutes won them the game.

Moortown v Old Brods. Photo: Robin Sugden. Alex Dawson
Dinnington v Old Crossleyans. Cam Brannan
Heath v Ilkley. Fergus Marsden and Johnny Cole
Heath v Ilkley. Tom Owen