Another week and another changed backline for Heath as a number of absences meant the blooding of two new young players as the team travelled to Old Dunstonians looking to consolidate their position in the upper echelons of the London 3 South East table by recording a first away win of the season.
A heavy downpour before kick off meant greasy conditions for both teams as the game got underway and it was Heath who were to strike the first blow after only 5 minutes .Good field position on the right hand side of the pitch from the Heath pack meant quick ball down the three quarters for inside centre Jack Lucas to power through the Dunstonians defence and score a try in the left corner. Heath player coach Peter Kerins missed the conversion meaning a 5-0 lead for the visitors.
The rest of the half was a tense affair with both sides putting some good moves together but neither being clinical enough to turn them into points. Heath kept putting the home side under territorial pressure but couldn’t get their lineout functioning to turn the screw when in the red zone. The score remained the same to half time although Heath suffered a blow in losing hooker Will Purdy just before the interval with a broken ankle.
The second half saw more of the same with Heath, who had the upper hand up front, regularly getting good field position but coughing up possession or being thwarted at the lineout, particularly by the Dunstonians skipper and number 8 who had a fine game. Strong running by the Heath centres led to Dunstonians conceding a penalty on the 22. This time Kerins made no mistake and added the points for an 8 - 0 lead.
It wasn’t long before Heath had the put the game beyond the home side. A clearance kick from Dunstonians was taken by Heath on the half way line and smartly moved down the line towards space on the right, where good inter passing between the backs allowed Lucas to beat three defenders and crash over the line through two more to score his second try of the day. Kerins bisected the uprights for 15-0.
Dunstonians heads didn’t drop and after a penalty was kicked into he corner they took the lineout and managed to drive over the Heath line in the corner to make the score 15-5.
Heath responded well and after a series of charges from the forwards took them into the Dunstonian half, quick hands gave Jamie Diggle, playing at outside centre, space to carve his way through the tackles to score just to the right of the posts. Kerins stepped up with the conversion to take Heath into a lead of 22-5 with under 10 minutes to go.
Dunstonians fought back again and managed another score to peg Heath back to 22-10. Although Heath strived for the fourth try bonus point it wasn’t to be and the game ended shortly after with no further score .
Again there was plenty to like about this Heath win away from home, but also plenty to work on as they look to convert more opportunities to pick up the bonus points on offer if they are to maintain their lofty league position. However consolidating third place and having the meanest defence in the league will be pleasing for the coaches.
Heath Rams were playing at home but suffered a heavy defeat against League leaders Brighton 3 .
Next week sees Heath 1st XV at home to Ashford where a large crowd is expected as they look to put a third consecutive victory on the board .
Heath 1st XV Squad: Euan Greaves-Smith, Will Purdy (Jack Bull), Joss Townsend, Nick Miller, Tom Burns (Huw Jenkins), Josh Salisbury, Dan Fergusson, Nick Main,(Capt.), Brett Menefy , Peter Kerins, Claude Cox (Jo Ratcliff) , Jack Lucas, Jamie Diggle, Doug Curd, Henry Warwick.
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