HEATH won the battle of teams lying second and third in Yorkshire One when they won an enthralling encounter by 26-17 at Scarborough yesterday.
Both sets of supporters were on the edge of their seats until the final whistle and visiting coach Dave Harrison was delighted with the outcome.
“We played superbly defensively and when we attacked we were clinical,” he said.
Heath, who had beaten another top four side in Old Brodleians the previous week, gave a start to Seiffe Boussadda at lock with Fergus Marsden joining Si Brown, Richard Dance and Chris Moore on the bench.
In near perfect conditions, Heath got off to a superb start on a ground where they had won once in their last 10 visits.
Ian Downsborough won line out ball and Peter Birkett and Jack Crabtree combined before Jordan Bradbrook ran from half way to score in the corner. Ezra Hinchliffe converted.
This shook Scarborough and when Bradbrook was sin-binned for an intentional knock on in the 13th minute, centre Tom Ratcliffe’s converted try levelled the scores.
Heath bounced back with Richard Brown and Matt Beasty prominent in some solid play. Crabtree released Jason Merrie, who sped in and Hinchliffe’s goal made it 14-7 after 20 minutes.
When Bradbrook returned Heath moved up a notch. Sam Pollard’s excellent kick set up a chance as Scarborough began to make mistakes and Hinchliffe, Bradbrook and Pollard linked to release flying winger Callum Harriett-Brown, who scored Heath’s third try. A score of 19-7 silenced the home crowd.
From the re-start Heath were penalised and Scarborough applied tremendous pressure. Billy Parker touched down and Ratcliffe converted to put the hosts back in it at 19-14 as half time arrived.
Scarborough went all out for a score and the gap was down to two points when Ratcliffe kicked a penalty after 44 minutes.
Heath held firm defensively and Jack Crabtree put in a superb run, only for the home side to fly-kick the ball and return to the attack.
Scarborough went close on a couple of occasions as the teams slugged it out, Cartwright, Merrie and Bradbrook preventing scores.
The home side were becoming frustrated and two quick penalties from Hinchliffe saw Heath back on the attack.
With 10 minutes left, Crabtree put in a clever reverse kick and then released Bradbrook, who had an outstanding game, to run through a shattered Scarborough defence for the bonus point try, converted by Hinchliffe.
The hosts tried everything to hit back but Heath hung on for five points and moved up to second.
With the first team game at Hullensians postponed due to a waterlogged pitch , Rishworthians’ Development team took centre stage at Copley against a strong and very experienced Ilkley thirds.
But it was the experience of Kurt Sutcliffe and Joe Billing which shone through as they helped their very young side to come from behind and snatch a 31-30 victory in the final minute with a dazzling try from winger Sam Puddephat. Other tries came from Sam Bake, Will McDonnell and two from Billing, who added three conversions.