A gorgeous late summer afternoon at Whitemans Green provided ideal conditions for running rugby and the chance for the Heath Colts (the Hawks) to improve further on the overall positives that came out of their recent pre-season defeat against Farnham.
Heath started off down the slope and were immediately on the offensive. In fact the whole of the first quarter of the match was spent in the Eastbourne 22. However, a combination of missed opportunities near the try line and impressive Eastbourne tackling meant that the scores remained at 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. This pattern of play, with Heath on the offensive and Eastbourne defending resolutely, continued throughout the game. After a number of spurned scoring opportunities for the home side, a close range try from Ben Eustace, meant it was 7-0 to Heath at half time.
Changes at the break allowed the coaches to utilise their full 25 man squad and with Eastbourne starting to tire, the Heath tries started to flow with further scores by Ollie Owens (two), Adam Southern, Christian Streeter and Dan Grant. Three of these five further tries were converted taking the Heath total to 38 points.
However, to their immense credit, Eastbourne persevered and were able to score with the last play of the game to leave the final score at 38-5. Man of the match for Heath was Callum Papworth who gave a committed performance in all areas of forward play.
The Heath coaching team was pleased with the line speed and rucking of the Colts squad and, other than the try scoring opportunities that were missed, it is clear the squad is improving in all departments. Next week is another friendly against Old Emmanuel as the Hawks build towards their first league game in early October against Guernsey.
Heath welcomes new players at any age from U6 to U16, Colts and seniors at any time. For more information see the Club website at www.hhrfc.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.