Heath’s big finish

Heath v North Ribblesdale'Rob Thackray about to score
Heath v North Ribblesdale'Rob Thackray about to score

Heath scored three converted tries in the final quarter for a convincing and much-needed 30-8 home win over North Ribblesdale in Yorkshire One.

The return of talisman No 8 Ian Downsborough heralded an improvement in fortunes, although it was the visitors from Settle who drew first blood with an early penalty.

Ezra Hinchliffe was wide with a shot at goal for the home side, who were struggling to settle with changes in the backs.

Darren Neilly went close following a scrum 10 metres out but Ribb broke and only a superb cover tackle by fly-half Eddie Cartwright saved the day.

Downsborough released Hamish Pratt and Will Sellers and Kris Garland almost made it to the try line before Hinchliffe made it 3-3 after 30 minutes.

Play was opening up with Heath starting to work well and a Hinchliffe penalty edged them in front at half time.

The Heath marksman missed with a further attempt on 43 minutes.

The home side stayed on the attack but passes were going to ground. Heath were held up over the try line and then pressed from three successive scrums before the official reversed a penalty and Hinchliffe made it 9-3 on 56 minutes.

Pratt was conspicuous in moving the ball around and Mark Puttick forced Ribb to kick but a try was proving elusive.

However, the breakthrough finally came when Thackray scored from a planned move at a scrum and Hinchliffe’s kick put Heath 16–3 up on 64 minutes.

The try gave Heath confidence and a second followed from Downsborough after Hinchliffe and Si Brown passed brilliantly. Hinchliffe’s conversion put the result beyond doubt.

Thackray and Matt Cook went on the charge as Heath dominated with 10 minutes left.

Pollard scooped up a dropped pass by Ribb and he made ground before shipping the ball out for Hinchliffe to round off his fine game with a try in the corner and conversion.

Ribb had the final say with a try at the end of an entertaining match.