Repeat agony for Heath
It was a case of dÃ©jÃ vu for Heath as visitors and promotion rivals Beverley snatched a 19-18 victory with a drop goal from the last act of a thrilling Yorkshire One contest at North Dean yesterday.
Heath had also led with seconds remaining when the teams met in November but Beverley went the length of the field to turn defeat into victory.
The pitch was very heavy after torrential overnight rain and Heath gave a debut to Lee Brown, younger brother of assistant coach Richard, as a replacement for Seiffe Boussaada, out for the season, in the second row.
Heath mounted an early onslaught and their reward was a successful penalty from Ezra Hinchliffe after three minutes.
Alex McFadden stole the ball and Chris Piper and Matt Beasty went forward with purpose but Beverley settled and a 10th minute penalty put them level.
The home response was immediate. The Brown brothers linked and the ball came out to Jack Crabtree, whose superb cross field kick enabled centre Jordan Bradbrook to go over for an unconverted try.
Eddie Cartwright kicked the ball dead after a clearance had been charged down but Beverley pounced from the resulting scrum through centre Will Turnbull and the conversion made it 8-10 after a quarter of the contest.
Heath’s scrum was beginning to take control but Jason Merrie was sin binned for a late tackle and Beverley extended their lead with a penalty just before half time.
Beverley threatened with a swift counter attack at the start of the second half but Heath held out and Merrie’s return seemed to inspire Heath. Peter Birkett was working hard and a slick kick to space saw Merrie and Callum Harriett-Brown chase the ball down but Beverley held out.
The visitors were now under the cosh and Richard Brown scored and Hinchliffe converted to give Heath a 15-13 lead just before the hour mark.
Beverley re-grouped and it became a muddy midfield battle.
Beverley regained the lead with a penalty to make it 16-15 with 10 minutes remaining but a cool Hinchliffe replied with two minutes left.
However, the visitors again kept their nerve through several phases of possession before the crucial drop goal.
Heath must now re-group for next week’s derby at Old Rishworthians whilst Beverley will entertain Old Brodleians.