Heath lose to 14-man seasiders
They have a six-point cushion over bottom two Wath on Dearne and Pontefract but have four tricky games left, starting with a trip to Pontefract in a fortnight.
The North Dean men had only themselves to blame for Saturday’s defeat by the seasiders, who played for an hour with 14 men after a sending off.
Heath were 7-0 up at the time but surrendered the advantage and missed two late chances to salvage at least a draw.
Dave Montgomery and Gareth Webb formed a new centre partnership while Ryan Hunter came into the second row at the expense of Darren Neilly. Rondene Johnson joined Matt Cook and Gareth Owen on the bench.
In glorious spring conditions, Heath went close to the perfect start. Hunter won line out ball and Alex McFadden was brought down close to the try line. Montgomery was next to cut through but the move stalled.
Cook came on for the injured Jacob Storey and was involved in the breakthrough Heath deserved, on 15 minutes. Gareth Webb scored under the posts after Hamish Pratt had intercepted a line out and Mark Puttick. Dom Walsh, Ian Downsborough and Montgomery had also played a part. Ezra Hinchliffe converted.
Bridlington stormed back but in an altercation near the Heath 22 they had a player sent off for striking Cameron Ramsden, who received lengthy attention for a facial injury.
The visitors re-grouped impressively. Si Brown was sin binned for dropping a maul and Brid levelled on 25 minutes following good work down the wing.
Hinchliffe made a jinking run but his pass to Johnson did not go to hand and Brid clung on until half time with no further score.
Heath had the worst possible start to the second half. Bridlington kicked long, Walsh’s attempted clearance was charged down and Brid scored an unconverted try to lead 12-7 on 43 minutes.
Heath responded with a flowing move but Brid kicked down field and the home side needed Olly Cook and Ramsden to get the ball clear.
In an end to end game, Brown eventually scored in the corner on 59 minutes to level the scores at 12-12.
Heath had a let-off when Brid missed a very kickable penalty but offended again and this time the ball cleared the bar.
Hinchliffe was wide with a longish, straight penalty and Heath then turned down another shot at goal in favour of a kick to touch.
They duly lost the lineout and when Brown dropped the ball wide on the right their chance had gone.