Heath U14s had a chance to test themselves on Sunday in their first league match against a Heathfield side keen to grab a high profile scalp.
This was the U14s first ‘Waterfall’ league game of the new season and it was also the first chance for a number of new players to make their mark for the club. Heath were defending a very long unbeaten run in Sussex rugby extending back nearly seven years and the boys were in no mood to break the winning habit.
In sunny conditions and on a good playing surface it took only four minutes for Heath to get on the score sheet with a well worked try from loose forward Sam Harwicke, successfully converted by excellent new squad member Josh Abrahams.
This early success set the tone for the first half as Heath proceeded to execute their game plan with precision and passion. With the U14s now playing the full 15 a-side game for the first time, Heath began to thrive against an energetic Heathfield side who were struggling to win the ball. Further tries were scored by Josh Mann (2) and Toby Vander with Abrahams adding a try for himself as well as a two further conversions before half time. Heath ended the half 24 points to nil ahead.
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Buoyed up by fresh legs from the six substitutes across both forwards and backs, Heath began the second half with renewed vigour. Another two newcomers to the squad took to the pitch - Charlie Bennett, provided extra solidity in the scrum whilst back rower Jack Hewer impressed with his energy and ferocity in the tackle - and this helped produce a platform from which further scores came quickly as Vander, Mann and Abrahams all added tries to the growing score.
Abraham was clearly enjoying himself and his pace out wide saw him reach his hatrick quickly before adding a fourth to cap a great debut performance. Heath had now broken the half century mark without reply making the game out of Heathfield’s reach. Samuel Walker was last on the score sheet for Heath with Will Galbraith-Gibbons successfully taking over kicking duties from Abrahams. Heath had one small lapse in concentration which allowed Heathfield a converted consolation try and a final score of 64-7.
Meanwhile in glorious autumnal playing conditions at Whitemans Green, Heath U16s took on the formidable Jersey, unbeaten for the past two years, in their first league match of the season.
Heath dominated the scrum and took control of the majority of line outs, frequently securing turnover ball. Kai Jutson was prolific in the air, stealing and disrupting Jersey's ball giving Heath plenty of possession. However, Heath had plenty of work to do in defence and it was pleasing to see that the squad executed great line speed and committed tackling throughout which nullified any offence that Jersey mustered.
At the end of the first half, the score was 10-0 with tries scored by Bobby Collins and Kai Jutson. At half time, Heath made seven changes to the team which changed the dynamics and Jersey began pressing hard for a score. However breaking Jersey’s building momentum, Adam Southern managed to break a number of tackles and sprint about three quarters of the pitch to score in the corner. This moment seemed to crush the visitors’ resolve and from there Matt Cains and Bobby Collins went on to score two more tries and the game ended a Heath U16 win at 25-7.
Adding to the success of the U14s and U16s, Heath U15s took on Horsham in the league and won by four tries to two at Whitemans Green meaning overall Heath’s junior squads had a very successful weekend of rugby. New members welcome at any age group Under 6 to Under 16 at any time – for more information see www.hhrfc.co.uk