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Heath finish with win over champs

Heath v York'Jason merrie
Heath v York'Jason merrie

Heath completed their best Yorkshire One season yet with a 28-19 home win over champions York yesterday.

A fifth place in the table fails to do justice to their efforts because they have only four points fewer than second-placed Scarborough and 26 more than sixth-placed Old Rishworthians.

After 19 wins and two draws from 26 fixtures, they have been left to reflect on the last minute defeats to Beverley, which cost them the runners-up berth.

Heath had control for most of the North Dean finale. Jordan Moana, who came into the side along with Si Brown in the absences of Richard and Lee Brown and centre Jordan Bradbrook, scored two of the four tries against a York side blooding some of their fringe players.

Moana and Jason Merrie relieved early pressure from the visitors and Heath pressed on the back of an Ezra Hinchliffe penalty to touch and Matt Beasty’s lineout ball but York cleared.

Heath opened the scoring when the forwards set up the ball for Peter Birkett to touch down and Hinchliffe converted after eight minutes.

York bounced back strongly but Si Brown, playing possibly his last game after a 15 year career, put in a clever kick and chased the ball down but was brought back for a foot into touch.

York continued to be patient and were rewarded with an unconverted try in the corner.

Heath responded and Chris Moore and Olly Cook linked well but York ramped up the pressure, only for Brown to intercept and hack the ball forwards. Cook chased and York were forced to concede a five metre scrum, from which Alex McFadden and Ian Downsborough paved the way for Moana to go under the posts. The conversion made it 14-5 on 30 minutes.

Jason Merrie was held up as another try seemed imminent and Sam Pollard’s clever cross field kick found wing Callum Harriett-Brown but York survived at the end of an entertaining first half.

A Merrie try superbly converted by Hinchliffe made it 21-5 on 45 minutes but a converted try from York five minutes later kept the visitors in the hunt.

Heath pressed again and Moana ran through a weary York defence from 30 metres out with players bouncing off him and Hinchliffe’s kick made it 28-12.

Heath re-shuffled their back line and it seemed to affect them as York scored a converted try.

The visitors were given further encouragement by the sin-binning of Chris Piper but Jack Crabtree put in a huge clearance and Merrie might have scored again had a pass not been ruled forward.