Sherburn Bears v Hanging Heaton 6/4/12
Sherburn faced league leaders Hanging Heaton on Saturday in a third versus first clash, on the line was Sherburns unbeaten home record against Hanging Heaton’s undefeated league record, something had to give, and following their poor performance away at Hanging Heaton in only the second league game of this season, way back in September, where the Bears were comprehensively beaten, many of the Sherburn players had a point to prove in this return match.
The game started in typical fashion with some crunching running and tackling down the centre of the field. This must be one of the only times this season when the Bears didn’t field the biggest pack on the park, with some of the Heaton forwards extremely big. Still the Bears pack set about their task with relish, some excellent hits flying in, from Steve Gudgeon, John Goldthorpe, Shaun Crossland
and Mickey Hansen. The Bears then backed this up with the ball in hand with strong carries from Martin Jackson, Bryn Watson, Craig Baker
and Johny Kear.
Sherburn soon started to gain the upper hand in the middle of the park, and as is often the case this then allowed the Bears to start spreading the play, some excellent passing from halfbacks Sam Booth
and Kev Jordan
started to see the Hanging Heaton flanks put under pressure, the first score duly going to free scoring fullback and Captain Martin Leahy, scrum half Jordan slotted over the extras to take the score to 6-0. More pressure from the Bears soon saw the second score, when again good work from Booth and Jordan created the space for Leahey to cross for his second; again Jordan added the extras, 12-0.
Hanging Heaton, who had no answer for the Bears strong running and tackling, did at least have the referee on their side, the one sided official saw too it that Heaton enjoyed the up side of the penalty count, giving 20 penalties against the home side, whilst penalising the visitor only 10 times. After three penalties on the bounce Heaton finally posted their first score when their influential centre, skipped past a couple of defenders to score at the side of the posts, conversion added and the score was 12-6. Sherburn surged down field with an excellent 65 metre dash from veteran back rower Steve Denton, who was a constant thorn in Heaton’s side out wide. The referee by this time feeling guilty for not giving the Bears any penalties gave two in quick succession in front of the sticks, Jordan duly slotted both over after the call came from the coaches on the touchline, taking the score to 16-6. However normal service was resumed by the official as he gave Heaton a penalty straight under the posts to take the half time score to 16-8.
Hanging Heaton started the second half coming down the slope at Eversley Park and must have fancied their chances, with the hill on their side. The hosts though had other ideas, as they tore into the opposition, forwards Martin Jackson, Adam Wright
and Matt Orford
all making great metres, where free scoring Captain Leahy dived over for his third score, Jordan again successful with the boot to give Sherburn a 22-8 lead. Still the referee seemed intent on keeping the visitors in the game, with 3 penalties on the bounce creating the space for Hanging Heaton’s strong running number 12 the chance to go over, no conversion 22-12. The Bears though now found an extra gear and blew the league leaders away in a devastating 10 minute spell. Struggling to get out of their own half Hanging Heaton coughed up possession, only to see substitute forward and all round powerhouse Lewis Booth
swat off several defenders before scoring, the sure footed boot of Jordan made it 28-12 as the Bears started to pull clear. More good work from Sherburn saw the visitors defence cave in again, for Leahey to pop up and score his fourth of the day to round of an excellent all round performance. The referee then stepped in and ruined the last 10 minutes of the half with a series of questionable penalties, resulting in an 8 point try being awarded to Heaton, to take the final score to 34-20.
Best for Sherburn on the day from an excellent team performance that saw a well pleased coaching duo of Kev Booth and Steve Frost
, having reached their target of no team beating the Bears twice in this years league campaign, was in first place All Tyres Fitted man of the match Martin Leahy, the dynamic fullback had far too much guile for the league leaders, showing excellent skill scoring his 4 tries. Second place went to veteran half back Jordan, who was at his imperious best bossing the middle of the park. Third place went to hard working hooker Jason Kavangh who had another excellent match. Top tackler went to stand off Sam Booth
The Bears next match see’s them travel away to second in the league Undercliffe Wild boars, where a win for the Bears will see them up to second place in the league with just one home fixture remaining the week after. There is a bus available to the Undercliffe game, open to all players, officials and supporters, leaving the Foresters Arms at around 12 noon.