Heath ended their losing streak at Selby in emphatic fashion with a 33-0 win in Yorkshire One yesterday.
The North Dean men had lost on their last five visits to Sandyhill Lane but they put in a very workmanlike performance to secure a bonus point win and ‘nil’ opponents for the first time since November 2014.
Victory strengthened their grip on second place. Dave Harrison’s men remain four points behind leaders Moortown, who beat visitors Beverley 39-10.
Richard Brown was rested and Fergus Marsden and Jordan Moana were unavailable. Eddie Cartwright came in on the wing with Si Brown on the bench alongside Dave Skinner and Mark Puttick.
Conditions were terrible, with a biting wind, rain and semi darkness but both sides tried to put on a worthy display of rugby.
As spectators cowered behind whatever protection they could find, Heath opened their account from a scrum 10 metres from the Selby line. Ian Downsborough peeled off to go over for a try, converted by Ezra Hinchliffe after six minutes.
Heath continued to use the wind to their advantage with Dan Cole and Jack Crabtree putting in some useful kicks.
Selby had their first attack on 15 minutes but Heath’s defence was solid. Olly Cook was prominent with his tackling and from one of his breaks Dan Cole put in a grubber kick and Isaiah Spooner pounced and touched down. Hinchliffe’s superb conversion made it 14-0.
Callum Harriett-Brown put in a mazy run before being bundled into touch while Jack Crabtree and Jason Merrie thwarted a rare Selby attack.
The visitors scored a third converted try when a great line-out catch from Matt Beasty and a Heath drive led to Cook touching down.
Selby continued to try and open their account but Heath were resolute in defence and half time arrived with no further score as the players sought the comfort of the changing rooms in order to thaw out.
Playing against the wind, Heath went in search of a bonus point try. Mark Puttick thought he had got it but play was pulled back for an earlier infringement.
However, Crabtree put in a superb kick along the ground for Harriett-Brown to score an unconverted try and make it 26-0 after an hour.
As darkness set in, Jonny Cole and Jason Merrie linked well and Cartwright went on a searching run. Then Hinchliffe and Spooner exchanged passes and the supporting Merrie scored, converted by Hinchliffe.
With the outcome settled, the referee blew for full time to bring to an end an excellent last performance of 2018 from Heath.
Old Brodleians’ home match against Hullensians and Old Crossleyans’ game at Guisborough were postponed.