Heath’s Shield hopes are sunk

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Heath bowed out of the Yorkshire Shield with a 10-3 defeat at home to Malton and Norton, who lie five places above them in Yorkshire One.

It rained throughout at North Dean and the floodlights were on from the start. Both sides deserved credit for trying to move the ball in appalling conditions.

Playmaker Mark Sales, Matt Beasty and Cameron Ramsden returned for Heath to enable Dave Harrison to ring the changes after the previous week’s 15-3 league defeat at Old Brodleians.

On the bench were Owen Williamson, Kris Garland, Peter Birkett and a new signing from South Africa, Dominic Giroud.

Handling was very difficult. Dom Walsh charged down an early clearance but Heath could not take advantage. Fullback Ezra Hinchliffe was putting in some telling kicks to touch while back rower Josh White had two good runs in the first 15 minutes.

The visitors opened the scoring from their first real attack on 23 minutes with a converted try.

Callum Harriett-Brown just failed to touch down as Heath tried to respond and Darren Neilly and Mark Puttick both went close from a five metre scrum.

Birkett came on and made an immediate impact before being bundled into touch 10 metres out.

A cross-field kick from Hinchliffe set up Si Brown. Then Sales dummied and nearly scored.

The constant pressure eventually yielded a penalty in front of the posts and Hinchliffe made no it 3-7.

A very resilient Malton defence denied Heath in the early stages of the second half and a fairly easy penalty was missed.

Giroud made his presence felt with a powerful run but Heath conceded successive penalties in range of the posts and the second was landed on 70 minutes.

Malton finished the stronger and ran the clock down for a hard-fought victory.