Heath edged out again

Heath v Keighley'Howard Hanks
Heath v Keighley'Howard Hanks

Heath suffered a third consecutive near miss when they lost 13-12 at home to Keighley in Yorkshire One yesterday.

They finished the game battering the fourth-placed visitors’ line but Ezra Hinchliffe’s late drop goal attempt was off target.

Keighley arrived at West Vale in confident mood, having beaten Old Brodleians the previous week.

They were up against a Heath side looking to get back to winning ways after narrow defeats by Bradford Salem and Beverley but forced into a late change with winger Alfie Blackhall a withdrawal, meaning a debut for Tom Cockroft.

Jack Sheldrake was also missing so Lewis Barrett started in the centre alongside Ezra Hinchliffe. On the bench were Tobias Hinchliffe, Ryan Hunter and Alex McFadden.

Heath made a promising start but Keighley went 6-0 up with two penalties.

The home side, with a much improved defence, worked their way back into the game.

Hinchliffe was kicking well for position and from a lineout on the Keighley 22 metre line Heath’s pressure was rewarded with a penalty. Hinchliffe was on target and added another to level the scores on 20 minutes.

Tom Baxter’s throwing at the lineout was accurate, putting Heath in control with Richard Brown, Olly Cook and Chris Moore making ground.

Then Eddie Cartwright came bursting through from fly-half and Keighley conceded another penalty, but an opportunity to take the lead was missed.

Heath continued to press but lost a lineout on their 22 metre line and the visitors scored in the corner against the run of play and converted for a 13-6 lead after half an hour.

Hinchliffe slotted his third penalty but half time arrived with Keighley on the attack.

Heath substituted Cook and Matt Beasty for McFadden and Hunter.

Hinchliffe’s drop goal attempt was wide but Heath’s forwards were in control and the team playing good rugby.

Dom Walsh and Cartwright were linking well with Jordan Bradbrook, coming into the line from fullback, while Howard Hanks was having a sound game at flanker.

Si Brown put in an excellent kick to touch with 20 minutes left and Hinchliffe’s penalty narrowed the gap to a single point.

Tobias Hinchliffe came on for Cockroft but Keighley raised their game and missed a penalty after 68 minutes. Cook and Beasty came back on for Moore and Marsden.

A superb kick from Ezra Hinchliffe set up a lineout 10 metres from the Keighley line but the visitors held firm and cleared.

In a frantic end, Marsden returned when Beasty was injured. Heath hammered away at a resilient defence and when Ezra Hinchliffe’s late drop goal went wide they had to settle for another losing bonus point.