Heath fightback is in vain

York v Heath Sam Pollard with Rob Thackray
York v Heath Sam Pollard with Rob Thackray

Heath paid the price for another modest first half display and gifting points to the opposition when beaten 25-19 at home by Hullensians on Saturday.

Ezra Hinchliffe and Callun Harriett-Brown failed fitness tests and James Porritt had work commitments so in came Cameron Ramsden, Sam Pollard and Peter Birkett with Jeff Jones added to the bench.

Heath had an excellent start when a kick from Mark Sales found the corner. From the lineout Heath won the ball and Darren Neilly went over for an unconverted try after two minutes.

The visitors from the east coast hit back. A clearance from Dom Walsh saved a score and after Cameron Ramsden had almost intercepted, Tom Biglin made it 5-3 with a penalty.

Heath were losing the plot and Josh Langford, the Hullensians winger, sped off for the try line but Walsh brought him down five metres short.

However, it was only a matter of time before Heaths defence fell down and Dan Bloomfield gave Hullensiansan 8-5 lead after 25 minutes.

Heath needed to re-group. Mark Puttick and Chris Piper made significant ground and Sales found space with his astute kicking.

A charge down from Ramsden saw the ball fall to Ben Hinsley as Heath pressed for a score but against the run of play Kevin Bates scored for Hullensians.

This lead was increased on the stroke of half time when Langford, who was having a sound game, went over for Hullensians’ third try to make it 18-5.

Heath coach Dave Harrison brought on Alistair Gordon and Jones into the pack for Alex McFadden and Jack Crabtree with Peter Birkett moving to full back.

The changes had an immediate effect. Ramsden caught a high clearance and Sales put in a clever kick and scooped up the ball for Sam Pollard to go under the posts to make it 12-18 after 42 minutes.

Sales was now in full flow and nearly added to Heath’s score before the referee pulled play back for an infringement.

With Gordon now winning line out ball and Jones nibbling way in the scrum, Heath looked a different team.

Rondene Johnson, Matt Beasty and Mark Puttick drove forward and upped popped Jones to give Heath a 19-18 on the hour mark.

Play was very even and players were very committed but Langford broke down the Heath barrier with another scintillating run before he released Ollie Emanuel to go under the posts for a converted try. The visitors led 25-19 with 15 minutes to play.

Heath piled on the pressure but Hullensians stood firm as the clock wound down and Heath had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Heath travel to York on Saturday for what will be another difficult battle.