Heath spoil Brid's perfect record
Heath produced the shock of the season in Yorkshire One when they won 28-26 away to previously unbeaten Bridlington, the runaway leaders, on Saturday.
The lowly visitors matched the home side in every department, putting in the performance they had been threatening for some time.
Ben Maxwell’s try, converted by Ezra Hinchliffe, five minutes from time gave them a deserved victory.
The visitors welcomed back New Zealander Jordan Bradbrook to replace Eddie Cartwright at full back, Martyn Barnes replaced Howard Hanks at open side and on the bench were Olly Cook, Jordan Moana and Martin Reynolds.
Bridlington kicked off and when Heath failed to gather the ball, quick hands from the home backs enabled winger Will Davies go in at the corner. Ben Dearing converted and a 7-0 scoreline after four minutes looked ominous for Heath.
The visitors responded with some gritty, determined play and Bradbrook went on a mazy run but was stopped on the half way line.
Bridlington missed a penalty for offside and Heath responded when James Robson, Bradbrook and Si Brown linked well and Jack Sheldrake sent Luke Saltenstall in at the corner for 7-5 after 13 minutes.
No 8 Richard Brown was controlling the scrums and Robson put in some clever kicks. Hinchliffe put a penalty just wide on 20 minutes.
Bridlington increased their lead to 12-5 after 22 minutes from a penalty to touch in the corner. They set up a rolling maul and tight head prop Josh Thundercliffe touched down.
Good work from Brown and Baxter and another fine run from Bradbrook put the home defence under immense pressure and Hinchliffe’s penalty reduced the arrears to 12-8 on 28 minutes.
It was an intense battle and Matt Beasty and Fergus Marsden, who had both been everywhere, were given a breather in the run up to half time.
The gap was down to a single point when Hinchliffe kicked a penalty on 42 minutes.
Heath were rampant and when Bradbrook put in a clever cross field kick, Hinchliffe put in a grubber kick for the telepathic Jack Sheldrake and it looked a certain try. Brid’s open side Loubser pushed Sheldrake off the ball but Si Brown touched the ball down.
A try was awarded and the referee had no option but to reduce Bridlington to 14 players. Hinchliffe converted and Heath, leading for the first time, could sense a shock.
Bridlington regained the lead on 48 minutes through quick thinking fly half Matiu Welch’s converted try.
The home defence stood firm but Hinchliffe’s penalty put Heath back in front at 21-19 after 62 minutes.
The see=saw nature of the game continued with a converted try to Brid on 73 minutes and the home supporters gave a huge sigh of relief.
However, Brid failed to secure the restart and Richard Brown gained possession. A penalty was kicked to the corner and after Beasty had won the lineout, up popped Maxwell for the all-important score.
Heath tackled like demons in the closing stages. When Dom Walsh got the ball from a Heath scrum his huge kick released the pressure and Brid eventually knocked on.