After a stop-start series of matches following the bad weather that has plagued Sussex so far in 2018 and led to repeated cancellations and rescheduling, Heath travelled to Beckenham on Saturday keen to get their season back firing on all cylinders.
Even with a few key players missing Heath put on a good show but again failed to convert their opportunities and lost a close encounter against a team just below them in the league 8-0, despite playing some of their best set piece plays of the season so far.
The game ebbed and flowed throughout the opening period andJack Best - standing in at 10 for the absent Peter Kerins - did a fine job marshalling players around the pitch and trying to put the opposition under pressure. Unfortunately too many handling errors led to countless penalties against Heath and as soon asany momentum was gained, it was quickly lost.
Heath dominated the scrum and line out and it was this thatgave them the opportunity to throw countless attacks into the opposition’s half - opportunities that deserved to be converted into points. However two errors cost Heath the game, the first a penalty after 30 minutes for an offside at the breakdown in front of the posts, a kick for points that Beckenham dispatched to take a 3-0 lead and then in the first minute of the second half, a loss of concentration from Heath following a poor kick and kick chase saw Beckenham beat the away defence and race over the line to score the only try of the match. Two yellow cards for Heath in quick succession late on did not help the situation although the 14 players on the pitch put up a good fight to stop Beckenham scoring again.
Although the Heath 1st XV Coach was determined to see the positives of one of Heath’s best away performances this yearwith Heath's defence back to its best, it also showed the areas that need attention and highlighted the fact that Heath needs to produce the form seen at Whitemans Green in its away gamesbefore this team can make permanent inroads into the top three of the London South East 2 league.
Heath 1st XV squad: Euan Greaves-Smith, Alexander Wolfe, Sam Beckett, Steve Doku, Nicholas Miller, Max Drage, Wilf Bridges, Nick Main, Brett Menefy, Jack Best, Bobby Conroy-Smith, Jack Lucas, Jamie Diggle, Roscoe Atkins, Henry Warwick, Huw Jenkins, Daniel Shotton, Josh Salisbury