Heath’s early promise fades

Dom Walsh for Heath against Selby yesterday
Dom Walsh for Heath against Selby yesterday

Heath suffered a third consecutive defeat in 2014 when beaten 25-10 at home by Selby in Yorkshire One yesterday.

Hopes were high when Darren Neilly passed a late fitness test to take his place in a strong-looking side but Selby proved strong, fast, capable and organised.

The home side made the perfect start with an Ezra Hinchliffe penalty for offside after two minutes.

Dominic Walsh made a good touch-finder and fullback Cameron Ramsden made a mazy run but the final pass went astray and was intercepted. Selby attacked and Tom Cobley scored a try which Josh Cruise converted to make it 3-7 after eight minutes.

An injury to Ryan Hunter allowed 6’ 8” lock Fergus Marsden to enter the fray for the first time this season.

Heath bounced back. Ewan Miller broke through and released Hamish Pratt, who sent Matthew Hallett heading for the try line. The supporting Chris Moore was held up just short.

The home side produced a set move from a scrum. Ramsden was held up from Walsh’s pass but No 8 Hamish Pratt was backing up to score a try which Hinchliffe converted for a 10-7 scoreline after 16 minutes.

It was an end to end game and Selby came straight back, centre Brown scoring an unconverted try to nose the visitors in front.

Heath attacked with Stephen Hare and Alex Cust heavily involved but only a dropped pass prevented Selby scoring under the posts.

A Cruise penalty increased Selby’s lead and the North Yorkshire side then went the length of the field and appeared to have scored but the referee adjudged the ball to have been dropped.

Heath had to defend valiantly to stay in the game but just before half time a booming kick from Hinchliffe put Heath on the attack. When Olly Cook, Mark Puttick and Jack Sheldrake linked, a try looked on the cards but Selby’s defence held firm.

Josh Lister came on for Ramsden in the second half with Hallett moving to fullback. Play was even before a Cruise penalty made it 10-18.

Miller came off injured and Heath shuffled their team,

Selby struck a crucial blow on 55 minutes when fly-half Dan Porter intercepted on half way line and cruised over for a try, the kick putting the visitors out of sight with a 25-10 advantage.

Neilly and Pratt did their best to get the home pack going, with Hare and Cust supporting, and Heath almost scored on 62 minutes but the ball was held up.

Heath were still moving the ball across the field, searching for an opening, but Selby’s defence was sound until the final whistle.

Fourth-from-bottom Heath will have to reduce their errors and do the basics well to win next week’s derby away to Old Brodleians.