Heath RFC return to winning ways at Maidstone
After an impressive string of wins came to a shuddering halt against Old Colfeians last weekend in a match that they could and should have won, Heath faced an away trip to Maidstone as they tried to put things right.
A few changes in personnel meant this was going to be no easy task but in the end, despite a few second half transgressions which put unnecessary pressure back on themselves, Heath got the job done in impressive fashion.
Heath were quickly into their stride and it was Maidstone doing the majority of the defending as the visitors from Heath played their systems effectively.
After quarter of an hour Heath had notched up their first score with winger Jamie Diggle in unstoppable mood as he crashed over for the try. Casey Calder converted for a 0-7 lead.
Although Maidstone hit back with a penalty, they were unable to hold out against the constant pressure from Heath who had already let a couple of chances go begging and after a dominant period of play, Calder went over the whitewash for 3- 12.
SEE ALSO England call-up 'such an honour' for netball star Miller | Heath RAMS reach Sussex Plate semi-final | Heath RFC secure courageous win away at GravesendHeath continued to play the rugby but were thwarted in their attempts to score again in the first half by some desperate Maidstone defending.
The second half saw more of the same with Heath well in the ascendancy and the game quickly put to bed with a try from open side flanker Josh Salisbury converted by Calder for 3-19 and then a pin point cross field kick from Jack Lucas found Calder out wide which saw him both score his second try and then convert for an impressive 3 -26 margin on the scoreboard.
With the bonus point win already secured, Heath started to take their foot off the gas and even though they scored again through second row Patrick McPherson - converted by Calder for 3-33 - there was clearly a feeling of job done which led to a loss of concentration by the visitors in the final quarter of the game.
The last 10 minutes saw Heath lose discipline with a couple of yellow cards and Maidstone bite back with a couple of late consolation tries to give the score line some respectability to the home side.
Whilst the 17-33 score line doesn’t reflect Heath’s overall dominant control of the game, this was a return to winning form and was just what was needed before the contest next weekend against table topping Beckenham, although the team will need to stay mentally engaged for the full eighty minutes.
Heath 1st XV Squad : Matt Monahan, Max Drage, Charles Newey, Gareth Fergusson, Patrick McPherson, Steve Doku, Josh Salisbury, Sam Drage, Brett Menefy, Jack Lucas, Dougie Kern, Jamie Diggle, Owain McLoughlin, Casey Calder, Robbie Fotheringham, Martin McDonagh, Harry Preston-Bell, James Flicker