Yorkshire One leaders Heath fought out a thrilling 13-13 draw with local rivals Old Brodleians, despite the home side finishing the game with 14 players.
Before the start of the game there was a minutes silence in memory of Heath President David Bradley who sadly passed away over Christmas.
Heath began the game well and proceeded to put pressure on the visitors’ defence.
A strong run from Willie Tufui was the first incursion into a fragile looking Brods defence and a run from Dan Cole set up another chance.
Heath’s pack surged forwards and when the ball came out to Callum Harriett-Brown the wingman scored in the corner and Heath led 5-0 with 10 minutes played.
Heath continued to be in control and Eddie Cartwright was next to surge forwards and from a line-out won by Alex Patrick the ball was quickly passed along the line for Harriett-Brown to cross for his second try and a lead of 10-0 with a quarter of the game played.
Brods were struggling to get into the game but when Heath’s scrum half, Dom Walsh, was dragged from the field of play and thrown into the stand wall the game turned.
From the resulting fracas the initial penalty, in Heath’s favour, was reversed and their prop Paul Turner was red carded as they were reduced to fourteen players. From the re-start Brods took control scoring a try in the corner to reduce the arrears to 10-5 with 25 minutes played. Heath re-grouped and spent the rest of the half protecting their lead.
At the start of the second half, Brods picked up where they had left off and quickly managed to score a try in the corner to level the scores, 10-10.
On 65 minutes, Brods looked to have prised open the Heath defence but the final pass was dropped with the try-line wide open.
This seemed to inspire Heath and they had a period of possession keeping the ball moving as the clocked ticked down.
As the game ebbed and flowed there was some solid work from Luke Saltonstall as he managed to get under a Brods player and prevented a certain try. Walsh cleared and Saltonstall was again on hand to put in a tackle to relieve the pressure from the visitors.
Dave Skinner replaced Jonny Cole as the game went from end to end but from a final onslaught by Brods they were awarded a penalty.
The crowd was hushed, showing correct decorum, as the ball sailed between the posts, 13-10 and it looked as if Brods had stolen the game. However, there was to be a twist as, from the re-start, Brods fumbled the ball resulting in a penalty to Heath.
Up stepped Ezra Hinchliffe who ignored some barracking and kept his cool to slot the ball between the posts to level the scores as the referee blew for full time.
Heath’s seconds beat their Brods counterparts 14-7. Scorers were Mike Reynolds and Chris Robinson, with conversions from Richard Cole.