Heath make Merrie at Settle
Jason Merrie and Jordan Bradbrook scored hat-tricks as nine-try Heath romped to a 59-5 win at North Ribblesdale yesterday.
Victory lifted them a place to third in Yorkshire One ahead of next Saturday’s home showdown with Scarborough, who are second after yesterday’s win against another of the promotion contenders, Beverley.
Heath had failed to win in five previous visits to the picturesque Settle ground, where the weather was perfect and the pitch like a slightly under-baked Victoria sandwich cake.
Richard Brown, Chris Piper and Callum Harriett-Brown were out and coach Dave Harrison brought Dave Skinner and Martyn Barnes into the pack and Si Brown onto the wing.
Heath came out of the blocks like a steam train against a frail North Ribb side. Chris Moore and Peter Birkett were prominent and Cameron Ramsden and Bradbrook were ferocious in the tackle.
An early penalty attempt from Ezra Hinchliffe went just wide and Si Brown was held short of the try-line but the inevitable try came from Bradbrook, who received a slick pass from Birkett. Hinchliffe converted after 17 minutes.
Heath were controlling the scrums and when Downsborough released Merrie he danced his way over the line and Hinchliffe’s goal made it 14-0 after 23 minutes.
From the re-start Heath scored probably their best try of the season so far. Eddie Cartwright caught the ball in his own 22 and released Ramsden, who linked well with Birkett. Cartwright was in support and scything through to go under the posts. The extras from Hinchliffe made it 21-0 after 25 minutes.
Bradbrook touched down for the bonus point fourth try almost immediately but Ribb responded and sustained pressure produced an unconverted try in the corner.
Merrie stole the ball and ran the full length of the field to score under the posts for a half time score of 35-5.
Ribb covered a dangerous Hinchliffe kick and there was a period of even play, Cartwright making one superb cover tackle.
Heath then battered the try-line and Brown finished a super move in the corner on 55 minutes.
There was no stopping the visitors and when Ian Downsborough won good line out ball the on-rushing Bradbrook slalomed his way through for his third try. The conversion was added by Hinchliffe and Heath led 47-5 on the hour.
Dave Skinner popped up from a scrum for an unconverted try on 73 minutes and Merrie completed his hat-trick, Hinchliffe’s goal completing the scoring.