Another hat trick for Sheldrake secures Heath’s place in the Yorkshire Shield Final
Malton kicked off with the benefit of the very strong wind at their backs but Heath scrum half Peter Birkett collected 5 metres out from his own try line and set off on a determined run. He passed on to the supporting Sam Pollard who in turn lobed out to Jack Ledgard and then Jack Sheldrake who fed his brother Max and, but for an ankle tap 15 meters short of the Malton try line a spectacular 80 metre try would have started the game. Malton were under no illusions as to Heath’s confident intent to run everything into the wind and the home side cleverly kept the ball in the forwards and kicked only when touch was guaranteed. After a great touch finder from the Malton stand-off, Heath found themselves defending a 5 metre line out and after several powerful forward drives, Malton scored the first try of the game which was converted. 7 points to 0 on seven minutes.
Heath gradually worked their way up in to the wind and from a silky weaving run from Max Sheldrake a ruck created quick ball out to Ezra Hinchliffe who, on spotting an opposing prop in front of him, skipped round and under the posts. He converted his own try bringing the scores even at 7 all after 14 minutes. More strong running from Max Sheldrake brought him a try in the corner after the ball had travelled from left to right and back again expertly controlled by both forwards and backs alike. Conversion missed Heath 12 points to 7.
Malton were using the wind well by kicking into the corners then using their well drilled large pack to exert the pressure which finally, after some heroic tackling from the Heath forwards, paid off with an unconverted try. 12 points each on 30 minutes.
With the visitors backs handling massively improved from last week a beautifully executed run around and miss move put Lewis McKenzie clear to pass on to Ben Coney-Critchley for a try on half time. Heath 17 points to 12.
Malton failed to gather the Heath kick off and from the resulting ruck, Heath’s outside centre, Jack Sheldrake was offered the ball and powered his way over the white wash for a converted try. 24 points to 12. Malton gallantly and entertainingly constantly opted to run the ball rather than kick into the strong wind but stout tackling from Heath prevented them escaping their own half and with Heath now revelling in a running and inter passing style it was the visitors who were threatening. Jack Sheldrake finally put the game out of reach for the East Yorkshire side when he scored his second and third try’s in quick succession, with one being converted the score was now 36 points to 12.
From loose ball Hinchliffe passed the ball between his legs and out to winger Ben Coney-Critchley who raced the first 40 metres and limped the last five to score his second try out wide. After the missed conversion Coney-Critchley left the field with a pulled hamstring.
Heath finished with great confidence as their performances have improved markedly towards the end of season run in and was the perfect preparation for the National Semi Final this Sunday against Westcombe Park, London.