Heath Under 14s travelled to the Isle of Wight with a mixed squad looking to maintain its 100% record so far this season across both teams.
After a Saturday afternoon spent in Ventnor British Legion watching the England v Australia International and celebrating an inspirational England win, the team were unsurprisingly off to a slow start when the match kicked off on Sunday morning.
A big physical Vectis pack put Heath under early pressure and had much the upper hand leading to a try for 7-0.
Heath maintained their defensive effort but were unable to convert the few opportunities they created into points on the board. Vectis made Heath pay for their careless execution, running in another try for an early 12-0 lead. However this Heath age group refuses to be beaten and stormed back with a well worked lineout and angled run from centre Josh Mann to score a try which was converted for 12-7.
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Heath’s energy and confidence returned and they were now starting to have all the play as their fast rucking game and swift movement of the ball from the breakdown began to take its toll on the Vectis pack.
More phases created space wide left for winger Josh Abraham to go in for a score which he converted for 12-14. Heath continued to keep their feet firmly on the accelerator and another scorching Abraham burst coming off one wing to score in the corner sealed the game, with the icing on the cake being his brilliant conversion from the touchline into the swirling wind for a 12 -21 win.
A great performance from the entire squad (pictured in their new training tops sponsored by California Raisins) who did well to initially stem the Vectis tide and fight back to make it a competitive match.
The early scoreboard pressure was alien to Heath U14s but a valuable lesson for the future and all part of learning the art of game management when not able to execute with their normal efficiency. With greater accuracy with ball in hand Heath could have won by more but the squad returned home tired and happy after an enjoyable mini-tour to the island. A return visit from Vectis in March will give Heath another tough contest to look forward to.