Phoenix finish the stronger

Joe Shipman scored for Heath
Joe Shipman scored for Heath

Heath were unable to finish their Yorkshire One home programme on a high, losing 23-13 to a Doncaster Phoenix side sure to finish third.

Si Brown came in for the unavailable Jack Sheldrake and Darren Neilly returned on the bench.

Heath began well and played with confidence and Ezra Hinchliffe kicked a penalty after nine minutes.

From the re-start Joe Shipman was injured as he climbed for the ball and Neilly came on.

The visitors were gradually getting into the game and on 23 minutes the Heath defence was split wide open, centre Jonathan Storey going over for a try converted by Ben Miller.

Doncaster were now stringing together several moves and as Heath struggled to contain them they gave away several penalties. However, when points were on offer the visitors went in search of tries.

Heath clawed their way back, Euen Miller and Alex Cust creating a chance for Rob Thackray and Dominic Walsh releasing Matt Baxendale. A Hinchliffe penalty was just wide just before half time.

Hamish Pratt came off for a revived Shipman but his stint on the bench was short lived as Ian Dowsborough suffered a dead leg.

Heath were back in control. Mark Puttick and Brown created a chance for Miller and the home side went 10-7 up when Walsh released Shipman for a converted try on 48 minutes.

Hinchliffe’s kicking game was proving a thorn in the visitors side.

Replacement Alex McFadden had an immediate impact but it was Doncaster who scored next, on 64 minutes, when winger Dan Greenslade went over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Downsborough returned for Pratt and released Miller, who was having an exceptional match, but he was hauled down just short of the line.

Neilly and Chris Moore were powerful in the pack and it was no surprise when Donny gave away a penalty on 67 minutes and Hinchliffe put Heath 13-12 in front.

However, Greenslade went over on 70 minutes and in a frantic finale a drop goal and a penalty by Ben Miller denied Heath even a losing bonus point in a good end to end game.

Heath play their final match away to Wath on Dearne on Saturday.