Ilkley 29 Heath 8
Heath were unable to avenge their narrow home defeat earlier in the season as the Yorkshire One leaders proved too strong.
A much-changed side took to the field with Thackray, Pratt and Hare all failing late fitness tests resulting in Olly Wilby and Jeff Jones coming into the pack and Zac Dewhirst in on the wing. Olly Collinge came on to the bench.
Jones and Ewan Miller were immediately prominent as Heath went straight on the attack. They continued forward and from Ezra Hinchliffe’s clever kick through Matthew Hallett celebrated his return from a long lay-off with a smart pick up to skip over for a try after five minutes – the first time Ilkley’s linehad been crossed in four outings.
Ilkley came back strongly but resolute tackling from the Heath pack, with Wilby, Ryan Hunter and Darren Neilly to the fore, kept them at bay. However, Ilkley kept pressing and from a lineout five metres from the Heath line Iain McKenzie popped up to score a try to level the scores.
Heath stormed back and when Hinchliffe linked with Josh Lister and Cameron Ramsden, Ilkley gave away a penalty. Hinchliffe kicked a brilliant conversion to put Heath 8-5 ahead after 17 minutes. The referee warned Ilkley for constant penalties and put fly-half Josh Kimber in the sin-bin.
Heath attacked with Hinchliffe, Hallett and Dewhirst involved before Ilkley gave away a penalty. Heath put the ball in touch in the corner and from the catch drove forward to the line.
Alex Cust looked to have scored but the referee brought them back. The home side defended well and cleared their lines.
A period of even play followed but on 36 minutes Ilkley’s battering forwards made Heath concede a penalty but Kimber’s kick hit the post and Heath cleared.
The visitors looked up for the game and when Hallett took a quick free kick he went 50 metres unchallenged but the attack came to nothing.
From the start of the second half, the home team clicked into gear and on 43 minutes Steve Burns strode over for a converted try to put his team ahead at 12-8. Heath made a substitution with Olly Collinge coming on for Jeff Jones before the visitors were caught offside and Kimber increased the lead to 15-8.
Heath attacked the Ilkley line looking for a break-through and with 20 minutes remaining Dom Walsh came off and Peter Birkett went on. At this stage the game was very even and it was against the run of play when Ilkley had the luck of the bounce and No. 8 Stewart Brewer evaded two tackles and found Burns on hand to score his second try,Kimber’s conversion made it 22-8.
Jones went back on for Cust; then Walsh returned when Neilly was injured. With these enforced changes, Heath were under the cosh and Brewer charged over from a rolling maul for a bonus-point try. With Kimber’s conversion completing the scoring.