A missed chance and one missed point!
Heath travelled to the East Coast to take on rivals Scarborough who last week missed out on a trip to Twickenham with a home semi-final defeat to Bridnorth. Heath welcomed back Jack Sheldrake to the centre position and had Emlyn James, Paddy Kerr and Cam Ramsden on the bench.
In very blustery but sunny conditions a great kick from Ezra Hinchliffe found touch 10m out. Despite Heath having possession for the first seven minutes a mix-up saw Scarborough intercept on the half way line and quick hands enabled a score in the corner. The conversion was missed but the home side led 5 0. It needed a quick response from the visitors but their penalty shot on 8 mins went just wide.
An injury to Eddie Cartwright, the Heath full back, in an off-the-ball incident took him off the field to be replaced by Ramsden on 11mins. Scarborough were not having it all their own way and good work from Chris Piper, Gareth Owen and Mark Puttick set up another attack for Heath on 16 mins. Constant infringements saw the Scarbs No. 8 sin-binned on 19 mins as Heath pressed for a score during a succession of scrums on the home line. Another scrum and Scarbs held firm to clear their line on 24 mins. Cook came off and James entered the game on 28 mins. When the Scarbs offender came back on they were back up to full strength and Heath had nothing to show for it.
Darren Neilly and Ryan Hunter were proving strong in defence and it needed a good clearance from Dom Walsh to get Heath out of trouble as Scarbs attacked on 33 mins. Rondene Johnstone came off for Cook to go back on, on 37 mins.
The game petered out as half time approached with the wind affecting play and a stalemate reached at 5 0 to Scarborough.
Heath turned round to play into the wind with Johnson back on for James, who had put in a good stint. Cartwright also came back on for Ramsden. Scarbs looked quick on the break and very dangerous as they pressed for a score. From a scrum, the ball came loose and a Scarbs player pounced to score a try on 51 mins. The conversion was wide but they led 10 0 on 54 mins.
This seemed to inspire Heath and had several strong phases until the referee stopped the game for an infringement on 57 mins (much to Scarbs relief). Heath continued to press with15 mins of the game left. A sparkling run from Sheldrake produced brilliant solo try for Heath: 10 5.
Then the inspirational No.10 for Scarbs released his winger, with a pass that the travelling supporters saw as well forward, but it resulted in a try being scored in the corner. Another missed conversion and the score was 15 5 on 68 mins. However, Heath would not lie down they continued to control the ball yielding a converted try from Walsh after good work from Sheldrake and Hinchliffe: 15 12 (72 mins).
Heath were playing with conviction and Hunter, Johnson, Neilly and Cook were prominent, keeping the ball in hand, and thus possession. But once again, it was Scarbs who kept the ball alive to score a try in the corner to deprive Heath of a bonus point: 20 -12.
So, the saga of the basement battle remains unresolved.