Heath beat second-place side

York v Heath Darren Neilly
York v Heath Darren Neilly

Heath clung on for a notable 25-23 home win over a Malton and Norton side who started the day second in Yorkshire One.

Home hearts were in mouths as a late penalty hit a post for the visitors.

The North Dean men were much changed and much improved from the team beaten heavily away to North Ribblesdale the previous week.

Ian Downsborough and university students Jack Sheldrake, Sam Pollard and Peter Birkett were all back while Josh White made his home debut.

Jack Crabtree moved forward from full-back to fly-half in the absence of injured ‘Sid’ Sales.

It was all Heath during the opening phases, with Crabtree kicking for position, and it was no surprise when Darren Neilly motored through a gap to open Heath’s account with an unconverted try on 10 minutes.

The bounce just eluded Sheldrake from Hinchliffe’s clever cross-kick and Malton were not in it at this stage.

Chris Piper who was held up over the try line before Neilly went in for his second try in the corner on 23 minutes. An excellent conversion by Hinchliffe made it 12–0.

Malton mounted their first attack and Sheldrake’s tackle prevented a try in the corner.

The visitors continued to press and scored a converted try on 32 minutes but Hinchliffe’s penalty made it 15–7.

Malton missed a penalty kick as half time approached but were successful with another after Heath had stopped, waiting for the referee to blow for ‘crossing’.

A further penalty, following what seemed to have been an exquisitely timed tackle, reduced the deficit to two points on 52 minutes.

Home scrum half Dom Walsh scored after a charge down and Hinchliffe converted to make it 22–13 and this seemed like justice as Heath were playing good, controlled rugby.

Both sides added to the tally with a penalty goal.

When Piper was sin-binned on 71 minutes, Malton scored a push-over try from five metres and the conversion closed the gap to 25–23.

Heath were under the cosh and a Malton penalty hit an upright.

This was a superb all-round performance from Heath and it moved them up to seventh place.