Dramatic late try sees Heath snatch derby win against Old Brods
Heath scored a dramatic late try to snatch a 19-18 derby win at home to Old Brodleians, who were knocked off top spot as a result.
Following storm Arwen, which saw three games postponed in the league due to snow and ice, conditions were near perfect at North Dean as both teams took to the pitch in front of a large expectant crowd.
As Old Brodleins kicked off Heath, playing towards the river end, were quickly under the cosh as the visitors went in search of an early score and, from a loose pass from Dom Walsh, wing Jasper Ayerton swooped to score an unconverted try for the perfect start 5-0 with Heath now up against it with five minutes on the clock.
A response was needed from the home side and, following a clever kick from Oliver Scrimshaw, into the visitors 22, Ben Stringer charged down the attempted clearance and Heath were on the front foot.
Next, a surging run from Tom Owen set up a chance and as Chris Moore, Paul Turner and Fergus Marsden made valuable yardage, it was left to Jack Pilcher to score the try, converted by Matt Hallett, and Heath led 7-5 with 12 minutes on the clock.
Jonny Cole had to leave the field shortly after with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Boussadda who was quickly into the action as the game settled down after a frantic start.
The crowd were hushed and fully absorbed into the encounter as both teams went head to head looking for a score and it was Brods who broke the deadlock. Taking control of the ball, they managed to string passes together pulling Heaths defence apart and scored a second unconverted try in the corner to lead 10-7 with 30 minutes played.
Oliver Scrimshaw was yellow carded following the try and Heath were down to fourteen. Heath's response was immediate and following a clever kick from Dom Walsh, Joe Morrison chased down the ball to set up a chance for the home side. Will McLaughlin and Elliott Spiers were on hand to secure the ball and Heath went in search of a score.
Heath kept possession of the ball and after over 20 phases of play it looked as if Jack Pilcher had breached the visitors defence but the hooker was adjudged to have been held up over the try-line, much to the relief of the visiting supporters. Half time arrived with no further score in what had been an intriguing first half.
Following a tentative start to the second half Heath broke the deadlock when Saif Boussadda crashed over the try-line on 48 minutes and, as Scrimshaw added the extras, Heath had retaken the lead 14-10. Undeterred, Brods mounted yet another comeback and took the lead with a third unconverted try on 52 minutes, 15-14.
Heath needed a response as Olly Cook and Harry Woollard replaced Jack Pilcher and Matt Hallett but they could do nothing to prevent Brods increasing their lead three minutes later with a penalty, 18-14. The game was now wide open as both sides looked for an opportunity.
On the hour mark, Jack Pilcher returned to the action, replacing Paul Turner, and the home side began to take charge. A darting run from Spiers saw the acting full back kick and chase and he looked to be obstructed as he chased down the ball but no action taken. Brods were now under pressure as the clocked ticked down and it was their turn to have a player sent to the bin with 8 minutes remaining.
With the weather conditions gloomy and the visiting supporters looking even gloomier Heath began to turn the screw and from yet another penalty given away by the visitors, Heath opted for the scrum.
The Heath pack drove forwards but Brods were resilient and clinging on - but they had no chance when Olly Cook scooped the ball up and emerged from under a pile of bodies with it and a third try and Heath led 19-18 with 3 minutes left.
It was now a case of keeping possession for the hosts and this Heath did with aplomb as the clock wound down and, when Dom Walsh kicked the ball into touch, Heath had beaten their closest rivals to take the points and secure the bragging rights.
The game, as expected, was a tough derby battle with both sides giving everything to their cause.
The result moves Heath up to third spot with Brods slipping to second following Driffield's win at Bradford and Bingley, who visit North Dean next week.
Old Brods Seconds got a measure of revenge though as they beat Heath Seconds 50-29.
Heath started the quicker and pushed the Brods back up to their own 22m line. A penalty was given for a high tackle in front of the posts and Heath took full advantage taking the three points on offer.
Straight from the restart Heath kicked upfield using to strong wind at their backs. The Brods backs tried run the ball out of the 22m area but a good chase by the Heath backs forced a turnover and they moved the ball through several pairs of hands to create and overlap and score in the corner, conversion missed, 8-0.
Brods hit back immediately working their way into the Heath red zone and gained a penalty. They opted for a scrum and number 8 Olly Anderson picked and broke down the blindside but was stopped 5m short of the line. Brods proceeded to charge at the line and scrum half Bradley Martin dummied his way over, full back Zak Thomson converted, 8-7.
The Woodhead boys now went though a poor patch making several errors, turning over possession and giving away needless penalties. Heath capitalised on the errors and scored another converted try, 15-7.
The Brods forwards started to exert pressure on the Heath defence and excellent drives by Tom Ashton and Pete Williams took the Brods to within 5m and flanker Ryan Harris forced his way over, Thomson’s conversion was charged down by a Heath player, 15-12.
Once again errors crept into the Brods team, and after winning a penalty they failed to make touch allowing the Heath backs to run the ball back close to the Brods line. After sterling defence by the Brods the Heath forwards managed to barge over for another converted try, 22-12.
The Brods again conceded after gaining good field position, the Heath players stripping the ball and racing away to score under the posts, 29-12.
Once again the excellent Tom Ashton smashed his way downfield to set up a good position, after several pick and go’s by the Brods forwards number 8 Olly Anderson crossed for an unconverted try, 22-17.
From the restart more good play by the Brods forwards put pressure on the Heath defence and second row Pete Williams muscled his way over and sub Callum Bacon converted, 29-24, half time.
After some stern words from coach Martin Smith, the Brods started the second half well. The errors that were made in the first were soon eliminated and another score soon arrived, Ryan Harris squeezing in from close range for his second try of the day, converted by Callum Bacon 29-31.
The Brods were relentless, dominating the possession good drives from flanker Sam Rawnsley and centre Tom Clee paved the way for Brad Martin to get his second try of the day, conversion missed, 29-36.
The Brods scored again at a lineout after getting good field position, Pete Williams scoring from the ensuing maul, converted by Bacon, 29-43.
The Brods completed the scoring with the best try of the match.They sucked in the Heath defence in midfield and handled the ball through the backs putting winger Louis Pinder into a gap, Bacon again converted taking the final score to 29-50.