Heath battle in front, to lose game in dying minutes.
Heath welcomed East coast rivals Hullensians to North Dean with several changes to the side following late withdrawals. Ezra Hinchliffe and Callum Harriett-Brown failed fitness tests and James Porritt had work commitments so in came Cameron Ramsden, Sam Pollard and Peter Birkett, with Jeff Jones added to the bench.
Following the kick off from the visitors, Heath had an excellent start when a kick from standoff Mark Sales found the corner. From the lineout Heath won the ball and Darren Neilly went over for an unconverted try for Heath to have the perfect start leading 5-0 after just 2 minutes. Undeterred, Hullensians clawed their way back into the game and only a kicking clearance from scrumhalf Dom Walsh saved a score as the home defence was put under pressure.
In another attack from Hullensians, Cameron Ramsden was just unfortunate not to intercept a pass, but the referee brought play back and awarded a penalty which Tom Biglin converted and the visitors were on the board 5-3 after 15 minutes. Heath were ‘losing the plot’ at this time and when Josh Langford, the Hullensians winger, sped off for the try-line, only Walsh chased back - but still managed to bring him down 5 metres short. However, it was only a matter of time before Heath’s defence fell down and Dan Bloomfield scored Hullensians first try to take the lead 8-5 after 25 minutes.
Heath needed to re-group and began to keep hold of the ball with Mark Puttick and Chris Piper making significant ground and Sales finding space with his astute kicking. A charge down from Cameron Ramsden saw the ball fall to Ben Hinsley as Heath pressed for a score but against the run of play Kevin Bates for the visitors scored a second try and Hullensians seemed well in control as half time approached with a 13-5 lead. This was further increased on the stroke of half time when Langford, who was having a sound game, went over for Hullensians third try to lead 18-5 as the referee blew for the end of the first half.
Half time changes were needed and coach Dave Harrison brought on Alistair Gordon and Jeff Jones into the pack to replace Alex McFadden and Jack Crabtree with Peter Birkett moving to full back. The changes had immediate effect when Cameron Ramsden caught a high clearance, fed Mark Sales - who’s clever kick and chase saw him scoop up the ball and feed Sam Pollard, for him to go under the posts and get Heath back in the game 12-18 after 42 minutes.
Sales was now in full flow and nearly added to Heaths score before the referee pulled play back for an infringement. With Gordon now winning line out ball and Jones nibbling away in the scum, Heath looked a different team, so when Rondene Johnson, Matt Beasty and Mark Puttick drove forwards up popped Jeff Jones to go over for a try and Heath led 19-18 on the hour mark.
Play was very even and players were very committed but it was Langford who once again broke down the Heath barrier with yet another scintillating run before he released Ollie Emanuel to go over under the posts for a converted try and the visitors led 25-19 with 15 minutes to play.
Heath pilled on the pressure looking for the elusive score but Hullensians stood firm as the clock wound down. Kris Garland was brought on for Puttick in a final push, but it was to no avail as the referee blew the final whistle and Heath had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Yet another game where Heath did not really get moving until the second half and once again gifting points to the opposition.
Next week they travel to York for what will be yet another difficult battle.