Leaders stunned by fine Heath effort

James Watson tries to bulldoze his way through the Driffield ranks
James Watson tries to bulldoze his way through the Driffield ranks

Driffield 20 Heath 23

Heath travelled to Yorkshire One leaders Driffield looking to avoid a heavy defeat by a team that had scored over 140 points in the previous three games.

Coach Kevin Plant rang the changes with the experienced Giles Hetherington moving to fullback, Charlie Lomas moving up to scrum half and Ezra Hinchliffe to standoff.

Heath had the perfect start when Chris Moore was tackled high and Charlie Lomas converted the penalty to put The West Vale men 3-0 ahead after two minutes.

The visitors maintained the pressure and Moore charged over for a try three minutes later which Lomas converted to get Heath off to a brilliant start.

The combination of Lomas and Hinchcliffe worked well for the backs while the front row of Moore, Mark Puttick and Jamie Watson took play to the hosts enabling Lomas to increase the lead at 13-0 after Driffield had been caught offside.

Driffield’s first real attack came after 15 minutes, but Sam Pollard was on hand to tackle wing Murray into touch. The home side continued to press and Watson was penalised for an illegal tackle but Driffield declined the opportunity to get on the scoreboard with a pot at goal.

Heath continued to be put under pressure but held firm with Hetherington, Pollard and Montgomery to the fore

Heath were then awarded a long distance penalty, but Lomas’ attempt fell just short before Driffield opened their account on 35 minutes with a penalty after back rower Oliver Wilby was judged to have not rolled away in the tackle.

Heath continued to dominate with the scrum magnificent as Driffield gave away another penalty for Lomas to convert to make it 16-3 at the break.

Driffield came out of the blocks flying for the start of the second half and sustained pressure saw Harding score an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 16-8.

However, Heath replied with a vengeance and a great charge down by Wilby allowed Pollard to pick up and make a scintillating run where only a desperate ankle-tap denied him a try.

Ian Downsborough was sin-binned on 55 minutes for handling in a ruck and Heath were up against it. They turned defence into attack in one swift movement with Walsh, Pollard and Hetherington combining well to run the full length of the field only for the ball to run dead after Hetherington’s kick through.

Driffield were fortunate to get away with a penalty before flanker Wright ran half the length of the field to score to make it 16-13 with 10 minutes to go.

Heath continued to defend well and with five minutes remaining they began to pile the pressure on Driffield. Daniel Ramsden, Downsborough and Montgomery made superb runs and when Hinchcliffe got the ball out wide he put in a towering crossfield kick which Hetherington chased and caught beautifully to beat the remaining defender and run round to score between the posts. Lomas converted for 23-13.

Heath worked hard to stay on top and although Driffield came back to score a converted try through captain Wright, the visitors had done enough to secure the win.