Heath suffered a disappointing 36-12 defeat at lowly Dinnington in Yorkshire One, having drafted in several colts to cover for absentees on what should have been a free weekend.
In the first 20 minutes the quicker and more skilful visitors looked as if they might give their South Yorkshire hosts the runaround.
However, Heath didn’t convert pressure into points and the home side’s strength then told, particularly in the set piece where the North Dean men were missing props James Watson and Chris Moore.
On a cold, windy Easter Saturday, Heath settled quickly but Dinnington notched a penalty from their first foray into the Heath half on 11 minutes, adding another three points shortly after.
It needed the experience of forwards Ian Downsborough, Mark Puttick and Ollie Wilby to settle Heath.
Stand-in hooker Kris Garland fed Jamie Richardson at a lineout to set up Heath’s first real bid for points but the move came to naught as Heath were offside.
Ryan Hunter was making his presence felt and Ezra Hinchliffe was kicking well to set up position.
On 24 minutes, Heath got their reward for some enterprising play when Downsborough went over for a try. The conversion was missed but Heath were back in the game at 6-5.
Heath were struggling in the scrums against a much heavier pack so had to get the ball away quickly. Hinchliffe, Charlie Lomas and Jack Sheldrake combined to release Kofi Brobbey, who ran almost the full length of the field before being held up.
As half time approached, Heath gave away another three points and good work from Downsborough, Hunter, Richardson and then Hinchliffe, Lomas and Birkett came to nothing as Dinnington held on to half time.
The visitors had the worst possible start to the second half when scrum half Gary Pidgeon was injured and Dinnington scored a try from a lineout on 42 minutes. This was converted to make it 16-5.
Heath had no answer to the home pack and on 50 minutes conceded an unconverted push-over try and then a penalty to make it 24-5 on 54 minutes.
Constant pressure yielded another home try on the hour but Heath responded when Downsborough made a great run towards and was supported by Hinchliffe before Lomas who went over for a converted try to make it 29-12.
Ollie Cook stole lineout ball and Hinchliffe’s superb kick set up another attack but Sheldrake was sin-binned and Dinnington grabbed a bonus point try on 79 minutes and added the conversion.