Heath gained a first win since their success at Keighley on the second Saturday of the season with a notable 25-21 home win over a York side beaten only twice before yesterday.
Things looked ominous when third-placed York scored an early converted try but the North Dean men got better as the game went on and the home forwards finished well on top.
Mick Gleeson was drafted in at full-back and Si Brown moved to outside centre following the late withdrawal of Caysee Pearson, who is having to rest a long-term shoulder injury.
Following Friday’s downpour the pitch looked boggy and ready to cut up as Heath kicked off.
It was York who scored first when centre Rich Downey broke through some poor tackling on the halfway line and released fullback Steve Kerr, who went over for a converted try on four minutes.
Heath hit back with an Ezra Hinchliffe penalty two minutes later but only a superb tackle from Ewan Miller prevented the visitors from scoring another try.
Chris Moore and Mark Puttick worked hard to earn possession but Hinchliffe’s kick was charged down easily and the kick-through enabled York to score under the posts, the kick making it 3–14 after 12 minutes.
Cook was replaced in the second row by Darren Neilly, who arrived late, on 15 minutes.
Rondene Johnson and Moore combined well and Alex Cust and Matt Baxendale made strong runs as Heath tried to penetrate the York defence.
Peter Birkett and Hinchliffe were looking to inspire Heath, but it looked as if it might not be their day again when a Hinchliffe penalty hit an upright on 23 minutes.
The injured Baxendale gave way to Kofi Brobbey and York immediately responded with a try in the corner from Sam Thorpe. An excellent conversion from Sam Potrykus left Heath with a mountain to climb at 3–21.
Cook returned for the injured Ryan Hunter on 28 minutes and four minutes later Mick Gleeson appeared to be taken out after catching a high ball and kicking through.
From a lineout, York’s clearance kick was charged down by Ian Downsborough who dived on the ball over the line for a try. An excellent conversion saw Heath back in the game.
Constant pressure from Heath took Downsborough close again before Hinchliffe concluded the first half action with a well-struck penalty to make it 13–21.
York began the second half on the attack but Heath had new belief and stood firm against the onslaught.
The visitors were then forced to defend and the sin-binning of York’s Harry Scurr on 62 minutes gave Hetah their chance,
Puttick, Moore, Stephen Hare and Downsborough made hard yards as York began to buckle. Brobbey, Gleeson and Darren Neilly were prominent in the next phase and York conceded a penalty but Hinchliffe’s attempt was just wide.
Gleeson, Miller and Brobbey worked hard and as the pressure mounted, skipper Puttick broke through to the posts – only to be brought back for a forward pass on 70 minutes.
However, the home side were not to be denied and Birkett, Downsborough, Cust and Hinchliffe handled before Neilly slipped a perfect pass for Miller to score an unconverted try in the corner.
That cut the deficit to three points with 10 minutes left.
The decisive score came three minutes from time when Heath swept the length of the field and Rob Thackray finished by the corner flag and Hinchliffe converted.
Back came York with a vengeance but Hare’s awesome tackle stopped York in their tracks and Heath took a vital scrum against the head as York wilted.