Heath under 14s enjoy putting old foes Chichester to the sword

Both forwards and backs showed their skills on the pitch v Chi
Both forwards and backs showed their skills on the pitch v Chi

Over the years through mini rugby into juniors, the Heath year group which make up the current under 14s have enjoyed some really tight and physical battles with old rivals Chichester.

Whilst Heath have always come out on top when it matters being crowned County Champions for the last four seasons, it has traditionally been the match with Chi that has defined each campaign.

Heath U14s excelled against Chichester on Sunday

Heath U14s excelled against Chichester on Sunday

This year’s league match saw Heath host their rivals at a wet and windy Whitemans Green which did not look particularly encouraging for the home side’s brand of running rugby.

However Heath were clearly pumped coming out the changing room and from the kick off picked up where they had left off against Heathfield the previous week and set about a clinical deconstruction of their opponents with the first try coming after only a minute.

Quick hands and straight running from the midfield created a hint of space for winger Owen Ratcliffe to beat three defenders on the outside and score a try which he then converted for 7-0. Strong breakdown work from the pack, who were dominant in the tight and loose, created more quick ball allowing full back Hugo Cordeschi to come into the line and touch down taking the score to12-0.

Within minutes the backs had opened up Chi again with some deft handling putting Cordeschi through for another try to make it 17-0. Chi simply couldn’t get a foothold in the game and any possession they did have was either quickly turned over by the awesome Heath pack or the line speed of the backs.

The standard of rugby on show was hugely impressive and there were audible gasps from the crowd when a beautifully weighted pass put Cordeshi straight through the Chi back line without a hand being laid on him after a well timed angled run that took him through for his third try of the day. Chi looked shell shocked and appeared unable to change from their one dimensional game plan of short passes for their big men to attack round the fringes which was meat and drink to the Heath forwards, who smashed down every attacker as if their lives depended on it .Turnover ball on the right gave the Heath pack a chance to show what they could do with ball in hand and they rucked and mauled their way up to the Chi 22, before handing over to the backs with outside half Charlie Layton on hand to complete the score and make it 27-0 at half time.

A raft of substitutions from Heath at halftime did little to alter the momentum and the eagerness for work from the pack coupled with the sublime hands in the three quarters meant that they were unstoppable.

Their lead was increased further with a second try from Ratcliffe and a score for 2nd row Henry Duffield crashing over to touch down taking the score to 37-0 with plenty of time left on the clock. Ratcliffe’s pace had been a handful all afternoon and he capped off his Man Of The Match performance with two further tries, one of which was scored from a run from his own half which he then kicked past the four covering defenders and scorched through to touch down for a 49-0 lead. The one negative from the match for Heath was that after not looking in any danger of conceding, they managed to let in a soft try after going to sleep on their own line, allowing a quick free kick to be taken for a Chi consolation score. The squad pulled themselves together and showing their never say die attitude went straight back into the visitors’ half where more sterling work from the forwards forced Chi to cough up possession and with a final flourish finished off with a try for back row Harrison Hampshire which Cordeschi converted for an historic 56 -5 win.

Once again Heath showed that the strength in depth of the entire squad and not just the match day 22 has created a consistent level of rugby which is impossible to contain when they are in the mood. Heath U14s Coach, Clive Thomas was delighted with the outcome saying “ I am so proud of all the lads. This win has to go down as one of our best results ever as a squad but I need the boys to step up again for the remaining league games.” Heath’s next league game is away at Hove this Sunday.

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