Derby match abandoned

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Yesterday’s eagerly-awaited first Yorkshire One derby of the season between Heath and Old Brodleians was abandoned shortly after the half-way point due to player injury with the visitors leaading 14-3.

Brods’ young full back Dom Georgiou stayed down after being tackled near the touchline in front of the stand at North Dean on 37 minutes.

It was feared he might have suffered a spinal injury and the club medics did not want to move him.

The referee called an early halt to the half but then decided play could resume on Heath’s nearby second team pitch.

With the derby crowd, flags and post pads relocated, play resumed for just four minutes.

When right winger Matt Hoyle went over in the corner for Brods’ second try, superbly converted by Ollie Akroyd, the referee became aware of spent sparklers on the pitch from the previous week’s nearby bonfire and decided it was not safe to continue on the second field.

With Georgiou still prone on the first team pitch and no sign of an ambulance, the game was abandoned at 3.30pm, although the visitors would have liked to have finished the game under floodlights.

The ambulance arrived around 44 minutes after being summoned and got stuck on the wet field behind the posts but was helped on its way by several rugby players.

Earlier, struggling Heath had made a statement of intent by shunting second-placed Brods back at the first scrum.

That proved something of a false dawn with the packs well matched after that.

Heath enjoyed good field position early on and didn’t appear to receive any advantage when play was allowed to continue after a couple of penalty awards.

However, the brittleness of the home defence was apparent twice in three minutes as Brods’ backs twice sliced the hosts open.

The first chance, after Rob Jennings had made the break, was lost when Hoyle, after a prolonged juggle, dropped the ball with the line open.

There was no mistake second time around when Hoyle and Jennings created an overlap for winger Zak Thompson to cross on 14 minutes. Akroyd added the first of two fine conversions.

Heath’s Kiwi full back Jordan Bradbrook pulled back three points with the simplest of penalties on 18 minutes.

Brods dominated field position for the rest of the curtailed half courtesy of several clever diagonal kicks from backs Phil Town, Danny Cole and Georgiou.

Heath winger Jack Sheldrake had a chance to break, but kicked straight into touch, and Brods looked the more likely scorers with Matt Raven held up over the line and fellow front rower Bennie Pritchett knocking on under the posts.