Heathfield continue poor away form
Heathfield continued their poor away performance in losing to a worthy Old Colfeian side who were good value for their four tries to nil.
Old Colfeians 34 Heathfield 3
The heroic efforts in beating Medway the previous week took its toll on the visitors with a number of personnel changes and this looked a very different team, compounded by yet more injuries on the day. The home side had the win sealed up by half time.
In the first half although playing down the slope with some slight wind assistance Heathfield rarely escaped their own half. The home kicker was impressive all day, only missing a couple late on and after the first quarter the home team were looking comfortable at 9-3. Sam Goatcher had collected the visitors’ only points on one of Heathfield’s rare visits to the home half. The Heathfield coaches will have been disappointed by the first half performance which contained any number of errors including dropped high balls and failure to retain the ball in the tackle. The one positive was the lineout which mostly worked well all day. Heathfield’s scrummage, with changed personnel, was often under pressure from an efficient home unit.
The game was effectively decided in the last ten minutes of the half as Colfs scored a try in each corner with decent handling aided, it has to be said, by some poor tackling (24-3).
‘Munch’ May and Tom Pritchard took early knocks and were eventually replaced. Chris Brady made a welcome return to the fray from the bench and Dan Bird made a fair first appearance at this level. However by the end of the game one starting flanker was on the wing, another was in the centre and a starting centre was at hooker. Heathfield have limited resources and this game stretched them too far.
In the second half the home team collected two more tries in their bottom left hand corner chiefly though their well drilled rolling maul. They should have collected another but Seb Jones managed to distract the home winger enough who otherwise had an easy score at his mercy.
Heathfield did create a number of useful attacks in the second half. Levi Willis repeatedly put himself into the game with a commitment and remarkably increasing technical assurance that shames many younger players. David Bayly again impressed all over the field in defence and ball in hand. Jamie Walsh took over at scrum half when May departed and was at the heart of most of Heathfield’s creative moves.
However on the day Heathfield had to give best to a home pack, and their back row in particular, who had a very effective day. Heathfield will look forward to the return fixture in the new year and repay the hospitality noted on both sides of the bar.
This Saturday Heathfield have a week off and the next league game is on 26 October when they entertain Charlton Park who are having their usual decent season.