Heath face the toughest of away day challenges

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Heath face the most difficult of away days in Yorkshire One tomorrow, with league leaders Ilkley lying in wait in Wharfedale.

Ilkley have only been beaten twice all season, but needed a last-play 80 metre try to help them escape from West Vale with a 13-11 success in the first meeting between the two sides.

And with Heath fresh from a morale-boosting bonus point at another venue where they have struggled in recent seasons, Scarborough, coach Kevin Plant is cautiously optimistic.

“Ilkley are top of the league, so it’s another tough one,” said Plant, whose side went down 19-13 on the east coast last weekend.

“But if we can play as well as we did at home, then we will give ourselves a chance.

“We started slowly at Scarborough but picked things up in the second half, scored a try and were pushing for another at the death.

“I think if you look at the relative league positions, it was certainly a reasonable point for us.”

Heath will field a much changed team tomorrow, with a number of players due to return after injury and unavailability.

Matthew Hallett, the full back who has not played since October, has been given the green light to return and could replace the absent Simon Brown in the centre, with Cameron Ramsden taking possession of the number 15 shirt.

Flanker Stephen Hare, who had been due to make his comeback from a shoulder injury at Scarborough but was forced to withdraw after aggravating it in the warm up, could also be cleared to make a belated return to action.

Against Scarborough, Heath made a solid start with Ezra Hinchliffe kicking an early penalty before Joe Lenton levelled the scores at 3-3 on 16 minutes.

From the re-start, Scarborough attacked and there were several missed tackles before Heath were pulled up for offside enabling Lenton to put the hosts ahead at 6-3.

Heath then gave away a succession of penalties which Lenton failed to convert but as half time approached, Moore was pulled up for an illegal tackle and Scarborough converted the penalty to lead 9-3.

There was still time for Heath to mount an attack and when Ryan Hunter won lineout ball the hosts pulled down the rolling maul and had a player sin-binned. Hinchliffe kicked the penalty for Heath to turn round at half time only 9-6 down.

The second half began with a clever kick from Peter Birkett to set up Miller and Sam Pollard but the pass to Thackray went astray.

From the scrum the ball popped out and Scarborough kicked through, Lenton, only just outpacing Heath prop Duncan Edwards to touch down. He converted his own try to put his team 16-6 ahead.

Puttick, Pratt and Wilby all had charges but as the ball was set to come out to the backs Heath were pulled up for holding on.

Heath, now beginning to gain more possession after an hour spent chasing and tackling, were still looking for a breakthrough and coach Kevin Plant introduced Dominic Walsh for Birkett.

On 65 minutes Scarborough were awarded a penalty for Heath standing up in a scrum. Lenton obliged and they led 19-6.

Heath persisted with forward drives and when No 10 Harrison was sin binned for dissent after ignoring a final warning to his team, the Heath pack battered forward and eventually Moore scored a well-deserved try leaving Hinchliffe with a conversion attempt under pressure to earn a losing bonus point.