More last-kick misery for Heath

Ewan Miller scores  for Heath on Saturday
Ewan Miller scores for Heath on Saturday

Heath lost to the final kick of the game for the second week running, this time by 26-25 away to West Leeds in the quarter finals of the Yorkshire Shield.

The North Dean men, beaten by Danny Wood’s penalty at Brods seven days earlier, felt they should have had the tie in the bag after dominating for large parts of the game.

Division-lower West Leeds elected to play with a strong wind at their backs and following Ezra Hinchliffe’s kick off, they hoofed the ball the full length of the field to apply immediate pressure.

They were rewarded with a penalty from fly half Dale Breakwell after three minutes but Heath’s response was immediate.

Zac Dewhirst was prominent in their first attack and Hinchliffe, Chris Moore and Jack Sheldrake helped Mark Puttick to go over the try line. He was held up but managed to get the ball out for Hamish Pratt to score and unconverted try.

West Leeds missed a penalty on nine minutes but Heath’s pack were beginning to dictate and Olly Cook charged for the line, with Pratt and Moore in support, and flanker Stephen Moore made it 10-3 on 19 minutes.

West Leeds were under constant pressure and continued to give away penalties. They eventually lost influential No 8 Sam Warren to the sin bin on 30 minutes.

More home players could have joined him as West Leeds continued to offend and a penalty from Hinchliffe on 32 minutes, which made it 13-3, was Heath’s only reward.

On 37 minutes Heath conceded a try in the corner from wing Nat Browne, converted by Breakwell, and the visitors led only 13-10 after being in charge for most of the half.

Heath started the second half with 14 men, Darren Neilly having been yellow carded, and although Matt Hallett kicked deep from the kick off, West Leeds were buoyant.

Winger Danny Booth ran three quarters the length of the field before being bundled into touch. From a scrum to the home side, full back Scott Evans scored an unconverted try to put West Leeds 15-13 in front after 45 minutes.

Heath came back with runs from Hallett, Josh Lister and Alex Cust but they could not break a resolute defence.

On 50 minutes, from a scrum five metres out, the visiting pack pushed and Ian Downsborough touched down over the line but the referee awarded a 22 metre drop out to the astonishment of everyone from Heath.

Tempers were becoming flared and Ewan Miller was sin-binned for a fairly innocuous high tackle, with the home crowd baying for some punishment to be given out.

Browne scored his second try on the hour but from a home line out Hare managed to grab the ball for his second try to make it 20-20.

Two minutes later West Leeds were back in front following a penalty but Heath came straight back with Ewan Miller popping up for a try on 75 minutes for what looked like a winning score of 25-23.

Heath needed to hold on to the ball and wind the clock down but from West Leeds’ last attack of the game the referee awarded a penalty for offside in front of the posts and Breakwell had the easiest of chances to slot the winning goal.