North Ribblesdale 10 Heath 11
Heath maintained their decent form in Yorkshire One with a thrilling victory in the Yorkshire Dales.
Influential prop, Jamie Watson, was absent so Oliver Cook took his place while Martin Moana and Jeff Jones were injured so captain Dave Montgomery moved into the centre and Daniel Ramsden and Oliver Wilby returned to the pack.
Si Brown took a turn on the bench to give Luke Clogher much-needed game time.
Ribb kicked off and immediately put Heath under pressure. The visitors withstood this and began to put together some strong runs from Ian Downsborough, Montgomery and Cook which resulted in Ribb giving away a penalty and Charlie Lomas obliging to put Heath 3-0 up after 13 minutes. Heath were beginning to play good rugby and when Lomas kicked high Thackray gathered perfectly but then took the wrong option, passing inside to Montgomery when Hinchcliffe on the outside was on for a certain try.
Following a good run from Chris Moore, Heath were penalised and Ribb took advantage with a strong run down the wing and a pass inside to centre Hayes who went over under the posts. This was converted by fly half Moon to put the home side 7-3 ahead.
Heath’s reply was instant as Ryan Hunter won a lineout and Moore crashed over the line, but he was held up. From the resulting scrum
Downsborough quickly picked up and released Moore for an unconverted try and a lead of 8-7 on 28 minutes.
Heath were playing well and Thackray cleaned up a loose ball and set off on a storming run but his pass to Ramsden went into touch.
Ribb then put Heath under immense pressure but big hits from forwards Moore, Downsborough, Olly Wilby, Cook, Ramsden, Hunter and Richardson kept the home side at bay.
Heath started the second half with Mike Lammas on for Cook.
When Hinchcliffe scooped up a ball on Heath’s try line, passes were interchanged with Thackray, Downsborough, Hetherington and Clogher to take play well into Ribb’s half and force a penalty in front of their posts which Lomas stroked pover to make it 11-7.
The continued to be a bruising yet entrtaining encounter and 10 minutes later Heath gave away a penalty which sneaked in off a post
to make the score 11-10 in Heath’s favour,
Heath were given the opportunity for a kick at the posts but Hetherington chose otherwise and an opportunity was lost.
Heath’s discipline had been excellent, but talking back to the referee on 62 minutes saw Rib’ miss the first of what became a series of penalties.
Two minutes later the hosts missed another shot after a Heath scrum infringement.
Cook then returned in place of Lammas and Si Brown came on for Thackray to try to interrupt the Ribb flow.
On 70 minutes the hosts missed another penalty after Heath had strayed offside. Olly Collinge then came on when Downsborough was injured.
There followed a period of ‘possession rugby’ from Heath as they battled to wind the clock down, but eventually they gave away another penalty which Ribb missed and Hetherington cleared their lines with a superb kick.
Heath were under pressure from a lineout and Ribb knocked on as a try seemed imminent. Then, following a scrum, Montgomery burst through on a rampaging half the length of the field run as Heath clung on; but possession was lost and Ribb’s final assault in Heath’s half yielded another pot at goal in the dying seconds, but the pattern of misses continued and Heath won the day.