Scarborough 19 Heath 13
Heath’s hopes of starting 2014 with a Yorkshire One victory were ended in the gloom at Scarborough.
Stephen Hare failed a late fitness test on his shoulder and reverted to the benchso Olly Wilby came in after a long lay-off after recovering from a broken cheekbone sustained in training.
Heath made a solid start with Hamish Pratt winning good lineout ball and when Scarborough were penalised for a scrum infringement, Ezra Hinchliffe obliged with the three points.
Scarborough came back strongly and might have broken through but for some excellent tackling by Wilby and Alex Cust.
Another attack was halted by Pratt and Chris Moore with Mark Puttick helping, but Heath were under pressure. Wilby was pulled up for coming in from the side and 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 outpaeing 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.