Influx of New Players Works for Selby Against Depleted Heath
Heath travelled to lowly Selby with a much changed side as injuries and un-availabilities took their toll. Injuries to Alex McFadden and Michael Reynolds and work commitments for Chris Moore and Dave Skinner saw Peter Birkett and Mark Puttick start with Chris Piper and Martyn Barnes also starting after a couple of weeks on the bench. Heaths bench was made up of Jordan Bradbrook, Richard Dance and Olly Wilby. Selby also rang the changes after the dismissal of their coaching team a couple of weeks ago which saw the return of influential Steve Cruise as Head coach and in that short period of time he has managed to get players back to the club who were playing in higher leagues to help Selby in their battle to retain Yorkshire 1 status and the side showed a number of changes.
Heath began in confident mood as they kicked off with a strong wind at their backs and Selby struggled to adjust to the onslaught. A clever kick from Jack Crabtree set up a scoring opportunity for Cameron Ramsden and then Richard Brown went close before Ezra Hinchliffe, Olly Cook and Chris Piper linked well to set up yet another opportunity to score. Next Matt Beasty won line out ball to set up a drive for the Selby line and then Peter Birkett, with a jinking run, was held up short. Selby had defended with great determination and with 10 minutes on the clock broke free to set up their first attack running almost the full length of the field which resulted in a converted try and a lead of 7-0 to shock the visitors. Heaths response was immediate and following a superb kick from Ezra Hinchliffe the chase was on for a score. Jack Crabtree received the ball and his cross field kick was scooped up by Callum Harriett-Brown to score near the posts making Hinchliffes conversion easier and the scores were level 7-7 after 17 minutes. Selby had managed to re-group, following the number of changes they had made to their starting lie up, and their response was immediate as they went in search of regaining the lead and with Heath missing several tackles the score was 14-7 after 22 minutes with a well worked converted try. The visitors were not functioning properly and the home side were growing in confidence and as they mounted yet another attack Si Brown was sin binned which did not help the cause. However, this seemed to spur Heath into action and once again it was Crabtree, who was making full use of the conditions, with another clever kick which bobbled around as Mark Puttick touched down in the corner. Hichliffe added the extras with a superb conversion from the touch line and the scores were level once again 14-14 with 5 minutes of the half left. Selby came back strong looking for a score but Harriett-Brown covered across the field and his pass to Ezra Hinchliffe saw the centre go on a maizy run from inside his own 22 to Selbys 22 before he was bundled into touch to end the first half.
Coach Dave Harrison had some severe words for his charges and brought on Jordan Bradbrook for Cameron Ramsden to try and in-still some more pace into the back line. The second half began well for Heath with a charging run from Eddie Cartwright but the visitors were suspect to the quick breaks of Selby and from two of these they took advantage of the wind with two penalty conversions after Heath had infringed, the second which saw Jack Crabtree sin binned for high tackle, and a score of 20-14 with 55 minutes played. Richard Dance came off the bench for Seiffe Boussaada but Heath could not respond to the Selby breaks as they scored another converted try on the hour mark to increase the lead 27-14. Wilby came on and Crabtree returned but Heath could not break down a resilient Selby defence despite their efforts which saw Bradbrook and Hinchliffe try to breach the line. Next Richard Brown, Jack Crabtree and Bradbrook moved the ball around to go close and then Cartwright and Harriett-Brown linked to release Olly Wilby who could not hold on to a poor pass as a try beckoned but it was not to be and Selby managed to hold on for a vital win.
A disappointing result for Heath who must now look at getting back on the wining trail next week at home against Bradford Salem, who are in free fall, before they start a run against clubs in the top half of the table in the build up to Easter.