Heath always up against it

Heath opened their 2015 campaign with a 36-6 defeat away to Yorkshire One promotion-contenders Malton and Norton.

The visitors gave a whole-hearted display but were given a lesson in decision making and ball retention by the second-placed side.

Influential forwards coach Hamish Pratt returned to the back row but Heath were soon on the back foot on a fine, sunny afternoon

It took only two minutes for the home side to take the lead, their pack rumbling down the slope and a series of drives culminating in prop Featherstone touching down.

Heath survived further pressure and the sin-binning of home centre Dyantjies helped them make progress with some good handling.

On 19 minutes a Sodladla penalty from 40 metres made it 8-0 but three minutes later Ezra Hinchliffe replied with a long-range effort.

Second row forward Emms extended Malton’s lead following another rolling maul and Sodladla’s kick made it 15–3 after 27 minutes.

Heath quickly took play back into the Malton half but home captain Triffit snaffled a loose ball and charged down the hill to score near the posts, Sodladla adding the two points.

There was a passage of even play during which Hinchliffe was yellow-carded and Olly Cook was injured, but there was no further score before half time.

From the restart, Heath made plain their intention to use forward power down the hill. They won a penalty within 60 seconds and Cartwright reduced the deficit to 22–6.

Malton produced more brilliant handling and recycling. Heath kept them out with some determined tackling but eventually Featherstone scored his second try and Sodladla converted.

A sparkling run from Gareth Webb, followed by a kick through from Hinchliffe got Heath to the Malton 22. However, the visitors kicked possession away and Malton’s backs twice they almost scored.

Eventually Sodladla made a brilliant 40 metre run through the middle, leaving the Heath defence in tatters, and scored under the posts. His kick completed the scoring on 61 minutes.

Debutant Dobson made a brave run down the wing and Heath’s pack was now dominating. Heath put a free kick into touch near the corner and Cartwright, by now at fly half, and Dobson combined well but no score was forthcoming.