Heath relief as late Hullensians kick goes wide

Heath's Richard Broiwn against Hullensians
Heath's Richard Broiwn against Hullensians

Heath got back to winning ways, after a narrow home defeat to Beverley the previous week, with a 14-13 victory at Hullensians yesterday.

They retain a firm grip on second place in Yorkshire One but will take little satisfaction from an error-strewn performance against hosts desperate for points in their relegation fight.

Heath might very easily have lost, Chris Lound’s late conversion attempt from wide out missing the target for the east coast side.

The North Dean men were hit by an unexpected injury to influential centre Isahia Spooner in the warm up and further knocks throughout the contest added to their problems.

Si Brown came in to the starting line-up with Ian Downsborough replacing him on the bench. Chris Robinson started for the first time on the wing.

The visitors made a mistake from Hullensians’ kick-off - a sign of things to come.

The home side battered the visitors’ defence in the opening 20 minutes, scoring an unconverted try when wing Tom McCarthy went over in the corner on eight minutes. Several desperate tackles prevented further damage.

Heath made their first real attack as the half hour mark approached following drives from Richard Brown and Jason Merrie. Michael Reynolds released the backs and Ezra Hinchliffe’s pass saw Alex Patrick drive towards the line, only to be held up by a resolute home defence.

Hullensians came back strongly and Lound added a penalty for 8-0.

Heath got on the scoreboard when a penalty from Hinchliffe sailed between the posts as a difficult first 40 minutes for the visitors drew to an end.

Centre Hinchliffe kicked two more penalties in the first 10 minutes of the second half to give his side a 9-8 lead.

The next period of the game was littered with mistakes and both teams went close to adding to their tally.

Jack Crabtree put in a clever kick to set up Callum Harriett-Brown before an injury to Reynolds brought Si Brown back into the action.

Heath continued to go in search of a score and were rewarded when Hinchliffe made a break and the supporting Patrick stormed towards the line. He was held short but the supporting Robinson ran through the defence to score an unconverted try in the corner and Heath led 14-8 with 10 minutes remaining.

An injury to Seiffe Boussadda saw Matt Beasty return to bolster a Heath defence which was being bombarded by a final Hullensians onslaught.

Heath gave away several penalties and from a quick tap by Tommy Sawden, the scrum half released winger Josh Longford to score wide out. With the last kick of the game, Lound’s effort sailed wide.

Heath now have a couple of weeks to put things right ahead of lowly Guisborough’s visit on March 2.