The Heath U16 squad produced a great performance at home against Cranleigh RFC to come away with a hard fought 17-10 win in what was a close game with very little to choose between two strong, fast and well-disciplined teams.
Heath started slowly with a period of rather passive rucking, tackling and slow line speed in defence which allowed Cranleigh to strike first and go 0-5 ahead.
However, after the restart, Heath started to come back into the game and a well worked play from the backs was expertly finished off by Liam Macaulay to make the scores even. Winger Eliot Fowler then repeated the exercise with a rehearsed move which led to a score in the opposite corner.
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This re-energised Cranleigh who showed their determination to keep pace with Heath and only some solid defence from the full Heath squad repelled repeated attacks from the visitors and meant the home side went in at half time with a slender 10-5 lead.
Returning after the break and with some changes to the ranks, it took some time for Heath to settle and this allowed Cranleigh to level the scores at 10-10. With their heads up, Cranleigh started applying more pressure and it was beginning to look like Heath’s defences might understandably give in when a sharp break from Tom Wharton and an expertly taken volley - that would have made Ronaldo proud - was grabbed by Ollie Owens who showed impressive pace to run in and score from about 30 metres.
Tom Wharton delivered some further footballing skills to slot over the conversion and the score was 17-10 to Heath.
The play then went from end to end with Cranleigh looking for an opportunity to get back on terms and Heath looking to create some daylight on the scoreboard. However, it was Heath who was able to see the game home safely by camping in the Cranleigh 22 for the last 5 minutes, holding onto the ball and frustrating the opposition right through to the final whistle.
Another excellent win for the Heath boys who all put in an excellent shift, particularly given the fact several of the squad were playing out of their normal position.
Man of the Match goes to Ollie Owens who tackled superbly, won a number of turnovers and who, despite normally playing in the back row, produced a commanding performance in the centre which he capped off with an exciting match-winning try. Heath Under 16s train or play every Sunday and the Club welcomes new players of any age from Under 6 through to Under 16 and Colts at any time – see www.hhrfc.co.uk for more information.
Heath RAMs recorded an excellent away result on Saturday running out 17-34 winners against a Hastings & Bexhill 2 side invigorated by playing in front of its passionate home supporters. Heath RAMs look set for a strong season and play again at home next Saturday against Heathfield & Waldron 2 while Heath 1st XV take on Gravesend – two matches side by side at Whitemans Green against opposition sitting almost neck and neck alongside each other in their respective leagues. It looks set to be a fantastic afternoon of rugby. Kick off is at 3pm – all support welcome.