Heath finally make league breakthrough

Heath on the attack
Heath on the attack

Heath 21 Knottingley 16

After going close to Ilkley last weekend, Kevin Plant’s Heath finally broke their Yorkshire One duck at West Vale.

Knottingley opened the scoring when their left wing, Mattin, scythed through some weak tackling to score and Piper converted to put the visitors 0–7 ahead on six minutes.

And When Heath were caught offside, Piper added another three points to push the score out to 0-10.

Immediately, Knottingley offended on the ground and Lomas opened Heath’s account to make it 3–10 on 12 minutes.

Heath had spent the first quarter very largely defending and when they got to the Knottingley 22 metre line, they lost possession and Lewis Bradley made 50 metres with a fine run, putting Heath back on defence.

Ben Littlewood suffered a tip-tackle and Heath gained 70 metres with two kicks forcing a lineout in the corner. Ryan Hunter just failed to score after Chris Moore made a fine run.

Knottingley’s fly-half, Rockett, put in a 50 metre clearance which was returned by Hetherington but Knottingley kept driving forward and Heath were caught offside.

Piper’s ambitious long-range penalty attempt went just wide on the half hour. Four minutes later Lomas failed similarly.

Approaching half time, Jeff Jones made a break which Hetherington took to within 15 metres but again Knottingley cleared well.

Si Brown then ran 40 metres before kicking ahead and turning the fullback. There followed several phases with Heath near the try-line but the ball was lost.

Dom Walsh and Hetherington set Littlewood up for a break before Heath were awarded a penalty which Lomas slotted from 30 metres, on 38 minutes to close the gap to 6-10, but Piper stroked over a reply soon after for 6 – 13.

There was a brief moment of excitement when hooker Mark Puttick kicked the ball 50 metres along the touchline and Walsh, Littlewood and Clogher were all stopped short before half time.

Jack Sheldrake replaced Littlewood for the second half. Knottingley forwards continued to exert pressure down the middle, but Heath showed no way through.

Lomas then made a sparkling 50 metre run out of defence, beating several defenders before kicking ahead as he was tackled.

Si Brown followed up, regained the ball and passed it to Sheldrake who finished a fine combined effort with a try near the posts.

Lomas made no mistake with the conversion and Heath had levelled the scores at 13-13 seven minutes into the half.

It was all Heath for a period but a Knottingley surge led to a penalty in front of the posts and Piper made no mistake, but Heath got back into the Knottingley 22 for Lomas to kick another penalty and tie things up at 16–16.

Sam Pollard opened up the Knottingley defence with a mazy run and managed to pass inside but an accidental offside put an end to that.

However, Heath won a scrum against the head near the Knottingley line and Jones made ground for Montgomery to touch down. Lomas failed with his conversion attempt but the stuffing had been knocked out of Knottingley and Heath led 21–16 with 13 minutes to go.

Montgomery then made a storming run through but his inside pass was not taken.

In the final minute, Knottingley managed to get a scrum near the Heath posts but Heath regained possession and put the ball out of sight.