Heath's afternoon of '˜firsts'
Heath completed a first double of the season and claimed their first five point haul when they beat North East club Acklam 30-15 at North Dean in Yorkshire One yesterday.
Lewis Barrett came in for the unavailable Jack Sheldrake and Chris Piper got a start with Olly Cook on the bench. Eddie Cartwright made a welcome return after injury alongside Jordan Moana.
The ground was heavy but the sun shone brightly as the visitors kicked off and applied pressure. Both teams missed passes and struggled to find any fluency.
On 12 minutes Si Brown was sin binned for a high tackle and three minutes later Acklam put a penalty attempt well wide.
It had been a lack lustre start from Heath and when play broke down again on half way, a hopeful kick through produced an unconverted try for Acklam’s Tom Hughes.
When Brown returned, pressure from the Heath forwards resulted in a penalty and Ezra Hinchliffe made it 3-5 on 30 minutes.
This seemed to inspire Heath and a break from Jordan Bradbrook saw Ben Maxwell in support. Three players were left strewn on the ground injured and the referee blew for them to be treated.
From a scrum, Richard Brown controlled the drive and Maxwell went over for the first Heath try on 35 minutes. Hinchliffe converted and Heath led 10-5.
Heath were now dominant and when Bradbrook broke again and linked with Luke Saltonstall, Acklam were really struggling.
Dom Walsh and Saltonstall combined to set up a line out 10 metres from the visitors line. Matt Beasty won the ball and from the maul Tom Baxter scored Heath’s second try.
The first half fizzled out with Heath in control but Acklam scored a breakaway try on 43 minutes to reduce the arrears to 15-10.
The Heath response was immediate as Baxter, Beasty and Chris Moore pounded into the Acklam defence. Although there were mistakes from both sides, Hinchliffe kicked through and won the chase for the ball to make it 20-10 after 48 minutes.
When Heath went back into their shell, Acklam broke away to reduce the arrears to 20-15 on 56 minutes.
A missed penalty from Hinchliffe failed to settle home nerves and Fergus Marsden chased back to halt another Acklam raid.
On 66 minutes Heath mounted an attack and slick handling from Cartwright, Hinchliffe and Moana resulted in a penalty and Hinchliffe made it 23-15.
This lifted Heath, who went looking for the bonus point try, and it came as no surprise when Saltonstall rounded off a great move in the corner.
Hinchliffe’s conversion was precise and Heath survived late pressure and the sin-binning of Saltonstall to move 10 points clear of the bottom four.