Heath pay for sluggish start

Pontefract v Heath'Jordan Moana try
Pontefract v Heath'Jordan Moana try

Heath’s three-match winning run was ended at Pontefract where they were given a lesson in finishing in a 30-18 defeat by opponents who took five league points to their nil.

Jordan Moana started in place of the unavailable Dave Skinner and Eddie Cartwright returned at centre for Matt Hallett. Seiffe Boussadda, Mark Puttick and the evergreen Si Brown were on the bench.

In superb conditions Pontefract immediately went onto the attack and Heath missed several tackles as Jack Beddis skipped over the line for a converted try after three minutes.

Ezra Hinchliffe kicked a penalty shortly after the restart and Heath worked their way into the game with No 8 Richard Brown’s strong running gaining ground.

Pontefract stood firm and then launched an onslaught. Callum Watts kicked a penalty and centre Andy Coleman skipped around a static Heath defence for a converted try.

A second penalty from Watts on 20 minutes gave the home side a comfortable at 20-3 lead.

Dan Cole put in a super kick to set up an attack and when home full back Stewart Sanderson was sin-binned, Heath opted for a five metre scrum. Their huge pack was in control and Brown reduce the arrears to 20-8.

Heath were having their best spell, slick handling from the backs and support play from the forwards putting Pontefract under the cosh.

From a line out Fergus Marsden caught the ball and a drive was on but the home side held firm and cleared.

Both sides gave away needless penalties at the start of the second half and Heath re-organised on 50 minutes.

Jonny Cole set up a Heath attack and Callum Harriett-Brown was bundled into touch. Heath were not to be denied and from Marsden’s lineout possession Moana scored and the visitors were back in the game at 20-13 on 55 minutes.

Pontefract substitute Sam Millard loped over the line from his fine kick and the conversion was added to take Ponterfract clear again.

Flying winger Harriett-Brown put a foot in touch, to the relief of the home supporters, but Moana’s second try made it 27-18 with five minutes left.

A Watts penalty completed the scoring and Pontefract were worthy winners, taking advantage of Heath’s slow start.

The sides meet against in the Yorkshire Shield at North Dean on Saturday.