South Lancs & Cheshire Division 2
Heaton Moor 20
Oswestry fell short again against Heaton Moor for the second time this season in another close encounter on Saturday.
The Eagles received the ball from the kick-off for their last game this side of Christmas, but were pushed back towards their 22 and Heaton got the ball back quickly.
With a clever kick-on the Heaton number 12, who showed great pace, ran onto the ball and ran of Oswestry’s try line. It was clear that the player did not ground the ball and knocked it on but the unsighted referee awarded the try, which was converted to make it 7-0.
Play resumed with captain Andrew Smith taking the ball back towards Heaton. James Roberts had to leave the field for a wound to his eye and Thomas Henry Jones came on as a blood replacement.
Excellent forward play by Oswestry was met with furious defence by Heaton, who were awarded a penalty after winning the ball back from an Eagles scrum, but the home side missed the kick and Luca Owen-Youens ran out of his 22 knocking a couple of Heaton players out of the way with his powerful hand offs before finding touch.
Roberts returned to action and play continued in the same vein with Oswestry trying to get back into the game and after giving away an early score Heaton were starting to feel the power of the Oswestry players who were making big hits on the home players.
After a number of short delays caused by injuries to Heaton players Oswestry pushed forwards and found themselves in the opposition 22.The whole pack of Oswestry were involved in pushing Heaton towards their try line and the ball was placed onto the pad of the posts which the referee did not see.
Fortunately Smith from only a few feet out could not be stopped and drove on to score a try, which Luca Owen-Youens converted to draw the scores level at 7-7.
From the re-start Dan Smart passed the ball to his fellow forwards Connor Blair and Fletcher Owen-Youens who progressed towards the Heaton half before Luca Owen-Youens produced an old fashion up-and-under.
Oswestry worked hard but were conceding penalty after penalty, with the referee eventually showing Smith a yellow card for an issue in the scrum.
After 30 minutes of play Oswestry were down to 14 men and had to survive for the next 10 minutes. Roberts left the field to allow Michael Keaveny to join the Oswestry pack in the absence of Smith.
Jack Charmley and Gareth Ellis were savage in their tackling of a Heaton player and ripped the ball from him providing good turn over ball as Keaveny pushed forwards together with Jonathan Hughes.
Oswestry were soon on the edge of the Heaton 22 with Charmley passing to Nick Clay who found Hughes who ran in from 20 yards out to score a wonderful try. The kick was not converted and Oswestry led 7-12.
After the start of the second half Heaton thumped the ball back into the Oswestry half where the visitors gave away a silly penalty, which the hosts converted to make it 10-12.
Oswestry were again under the cosh with Heaton gaining ground into their 22 and yet again giving away needless penalties to Heaton, who added 10 more points to their total to run out 20-12 winners.
Oswestry return to action on January 6 next year with a home clash against Didsbury at 2.15pm.