Heathfield Secure Away Win
Greenies prove they can travel the distance
Heathfield made the long journey to Deal on Saturday, with the coach, covering every inch of the narrow back road route chosen by the driver. On a glorious day by the coast in what is always a fiercely competitive fixture with the home side advantage of a narrow and short pitch, the Greenies made an impressive start with Harry Reilly quickly securing a penalty 0-3. The first try of the day was scored by Henry Ross 15 minutes into the game in the bottom right corner and duly converted by Reilly putting more points on the board for Heathfield 0-10. Deal managed to put the pressure on but hands in the ruck meant another penalty was awarded to Heathfield. This didn't seem to phase them and they were back in the game almost scoring a try but some great defence from Henry Ross denied them of this. Olly Smith was the next to score with a driving try converted once again by Reilly who seemed to have his kicking boots on all day! putting the Greenies 20 points in front. With 10 minutes to go in the first half Deal took advantage of Heathfield’s continued infringements and touched down in the bottom corner 5-20. Quick hands and good support play meant Will Tyler could touch down over the line for Heathfield but this was disallowed by the ref. Shortly after this Skipper Haidar Maliki was binned for a no arm tackle, Deal made the most of being a man up and scored, putting an end to the first half 10-20.
In the second half the opposition fought back hard, but Ethan Walker ran a hard line through the centre to touchdown again, but supposedly did so through a double movement so was disallowed by the ref. Heathfield picked up another penalty putting the score unto 10-23. Tom Pritchard who created hell for the opposition and kept their back row thinking was replaced by Guy Quitterton. Deal managed to add another try to their other two but this time converted 17-23. It was a nail biting final 10 min of the game where Deal looked set to score again, however an incomplete maul with great defence work from Heathfield and backchat from Deal meant we had the penalty. Thus securing the win!
The defensive effort across the team was superb from the off. The pressure exerted by the midfield pairing of Ethan Walker and Toby Warren was top notch, causing numerous unforced errors from the home side in the early exchanges. Heathfield’s scrummage was predominantly in the ascendancy, but on a couple of occasions Deal applied sufficient pressure to disrupt. Both line outs were fairly equal, but some cute calls with Olly Stables, Henry Ross and Haidar Maliki kept Heathfield on the front foot.
It was a real work out day for the front row trio of Tom (Cherry) Watkins, Olly Stables and Olly Smith. In the backs Marcus Hendry, Henry Armstrong and Will Tyler were excellent in defence with Hendry making sharp in roads with his footwork in attack.
A special mention to Alex Palmer for filling the reserve front row spot, wasn't needed on this occasion but his time will come.
The coaches had a tough decision for Man of the Match but Walker takes the honours this week for his powerful ball carrying.
Heathfield have a week off for Easter and entertain Hove on 7th April 3pm ko