Heath let decent lead slip away

Ian Downsborough crosses for Heath during their defeat by Wath
Ian Downsborough crosses for Heath during their defeat by Wath

Heath 25 Wath upon Dearne 29

Heath slipped to a narrow defeat in their final Yorkshire One game of the season after holding a healthy interval lead

Wath kicked off and four minutes into the game their centre Steve Mason beat three defenders as he sped down the touchline to score an unconverted try in the corner. Next, following a Heath scrum, the ball went loose in the tackle and Wath’s backs set off running but when Walsh got his hands on the ball for Heath he put in a long touch-finder to take play to the Wath 22m line.

Gleeson made a half-break and Heath were awarded a penalty which he converted to make the score 5-3 on 10 minutes.

Josh Lister, not having played in the first team for several months, fielded a difficult ball on his own 22 and it was Heath’s scrum. Wath won this but then knocked on. When they next had the ball they were penalised for not releasing in the tackle and Gleeson found a relieving touch well inside the Wath 22.

The ball was spun out to Si Brown and he split the defence before deftly passing the ball inside to the supporting Cameron Ramsden who finished off with a try in the corner. Gleeson converted for Heath to take a 10-5 lead.

Heath were unlucky not to record a try when Downsborough followed up and dived on a ball over the try-line. Play was taken back for a penalty, Wath’s Small being yellow-carded for a tripping offence.

It was all Heath at this stage with the forwards Cook, Richardson, Puttick and Moore powering on. From a quick tap penalty, Puttick made 20 metres before passing to Walsh who scored an unconverted try wide out giving Heath a 15-5 lead.

Wath were clearly unsettled and their restart went straight into touch. Heath won their scrum and the backs ran well with Si Brown executing the perfect reverse pass for Olly Cook to run on to at speed.

A confident 50m touch-finder from Walsh put Heath five metres from the Wath line.

The visitors defended with a series of forward drives but when they lost the ball Si Brown was held up over the try-line after supporting a strong run from fellow-centre Downsborough.

Heath’s back row of Hunter, Wilby and Pidgeon were working well as a unit and with the scrimmaging of the front five, gave Wath a torrid time defending their line.

Walsh was held up and scrums followed, with Downsborough eventually driving over near the posts for Gleeson to convert.

Heath then had to defend with Wath choosing to run two penalties. Si Brown made the relieving kick and it was Heath’s turn to attack again.

Wath’s former Halifax scrum half Joe Bartlett was lucky only to receive a warning after blatantly stamping on a Heath player as the first half drew to a close.

Wath started the second half spreading forwards across the field and running with the backs hard at the Heath defence and within seven minutes scored a converted try under the posts for 22-12.

It took 10 minutes for Heath to get into the Wath half but then Bartlett made a break down centre field before transferring the ball with a slick reverse pass for one of his forwards to run on to.

With play driven close to Heath’s line, Bartlett picked up and jinked in under the posts for a try which Quinn converted to reduce the deficit to 22-19.

Wath made changes and Kris Garland came on as hooker for Heath, allowing McReady to go off and Puttick to move out to prop.

Heath got into the Wath half and Gleeson extended their lead, with a penalty, to 25-19. The respite was short-lived, with Wath quickly back into their stride and threatening the Heath line.

Gleeson briefly relieved the pressure with a 40 metre touch-finder but Wath were soon back and one of their bulky forwards scored a converted try to put them one point ahead with 13 minutes left.

Wath were now showing great determination but dissent led to a penalty which was then marched back to within Gleeson’s kicking range but his attempt was wide.

Wath came back with more running and good handling and when Heath were caught offside, Quinn took the three points for the visitors to complete the scoring.