Try doubles for Ian and Darren

Ian Downsborough with Dom Walsh in support against Acklam
Ian Downsborough with Dom Walsh in support against Acklam

Heath put more daylight between themselves and the Yorkshire One relegation zone with a five-point haul from a 31-22 home win over Acklam.

They were registering a third successive win but gave a disjointed display against a Middlesbrough side who have lost all their 21 league games this season.

Heath attacked from the kick off with a surging run from Rob Thackray and a great cross-kick from Ezra Hinchliffe.

However, it was Acklam who drew first blood with a penalty for offside on eight minutes.

Dropped passes galore hindered Heath but good handling on 18 minutes resulted in Thackray being held up and the supporting Darren Neilly scoring an unconverted try.

Acklam quickly regained the lead. A mistake from Neilly allowed Acklam to attack and when Dom Walsh’s attempted clearance kick was charged down the visitors scored a simple unconverted try for a 5-8 scoreline after 24 minutes.

Walsh tried to atone with a clever pass to Hamish Pratt, who got over the try-line but was held up. Ian Downsborough tried his luck from the resulting scrum but lost the ball.

Sam Pollard and Ewan Miller were becoming influential and Alex Cust made yardage as Heath re-grouped.

Nevertheless, it was Acklam who finished the first half on the attack.

Matt Hallett came on for Cameron Ramsden at fullback and Olly Cook for Jake McFadden at prop. Following a dressing down from coach Kevin Plant, Heath started the second half like they meant business.

On 45 minutes, Chris Moore released Thackray, who was tackled on half-way. Downsborough was in support and he powered towards the try-line, handing off attempted tacklers before touching down. Hinchliffe’s kick made it 12-8.

Sustained pressure followed by the home team and when penalties came, Heath were determined to score tries. After several scrums, Downsborough got his second, converted by Hinchliffe, to make it 19-8.

Heath were becoming dominant and from a lineout won by Ryan Hunter, Mark Puttick nipped in for the bonus-point try and made it 24–8 on 56 minutes.

Undeterred, Acklam came back with a converted try.

Walsh made a break and kicked through but was tackled off the ball. The penalty was put into touch, the lineout won and there was a concerted drive for the line.

Acklam held until Pollard made a run, supported by Walsh, Miller and Downsborough, who unselfishly allowed Neilly to score his second with an extravagant dive.

Hinchliffe converted but never-say-die Acklam scored another converted try before the final whistle.