Scarboro’ secure vital win at Heath

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Heath 15

Scarborough 26

Scarborough continued where they left off last week against Malton and turned in a powerful, disciplined performance to break their duck on the road with a well-deserved 26-15 victory at high-flying Heath.

Following overnight rain the Heath pitch was heavy underfoot but mercifully the monsoon had abated and Scarborough kicked off with the benefit of a light following breeze.

A Heath player fumbled his attempt to field the kick and the visitors had an attacking scrum on the home 22.

However from the subsequent drive from the base Scarborough were penalised for holding on and the early chance had gone.

Both sides looked to find their feet and the sparring was mostly in midfield before a Heath defender strayed offside in the 13th minute and hooker Matty Jones kicked Scarborough 3-0 ahead with the resulting penalty.

The visitors continued to press through the forwards and it was no surprise when the west Yorkshiremen were penalised for hands in a ruck and Jones slotted the penalty for 6-0 in the 17th minute.

And skipper Nick Ingham’s men forged further ahead almost from the re-start pressuring the home side on their own 22 and when a wayward pass meant for former rugby league star Martin Moana in the centre was intercepted by Phil Stewart the Scarborough fly-half side-stepped two would-be tacklers to crash over in the 19th minute.

Jones added the extras to stretch the lead to 13-0.

Heath at last woke up going into the second quarter and full-back Matthew Hallett found good touch in the visitors’ 22.

However solid defence was the order of the day and following good work by Scarborough back row, Stewart cleared his lines and the danger was gone.

Stewart was having a stormer as were all of his colleagues behind the scrum, particularly Billy Parker in the centres who was everywhere.

Heath’s incursion into Scarborough territory was only a respite for the home side and the dominant visiting eight continued to press and from a scrum just outside the Heath 22 in the middle of the field, flanker Louis Karl powered over to complete an incisive back row move in the 34th minute.

Jones converted to stretch the lead to 20 points.

Heath must have had the hairdryer treatment at half-time as they started the second half with the bit between their teeth surging upfield from the kick-off and winning a penalty on the Scarborough 22 when a visiting player strayed offside.

Hallett did the business to reduce the arrears to 17 points at 20-3 in the 42nd minute.

And the home side continued the onslaught from the Scarborough restart driving up field to camp in the visitors territory.

And when a Scarborough defender missed a tackle in mid-field the ball was moved swiftly wide for former Kiwi Rugby League international Moana to romp over.

Hallett missed the touchline conversion but the visitors were pegged back to 20-8 in the 47th minute.

Heath’s sustained pressure deep in the visitors half was repulsed by some solid defence with bodies on the line, however they persevered and following a series of pick-up and drives Scarborough run out of numbers and number eight Ian Spence drove over in the 65th minute.

Hallett added the extras to reduce the arrears to five points.

Coach Beck decided it was time to bring on fresh legs and prop Jason Lowde and flanker Jaxon Tite were replaced by Oliver Proudfoot and Ian Williams.

Scarborough was immediately rewarded when Heath strayed offside following pressure on their 22 and Jones slotted the penalty to stretch the lead to 23-15 in the 68th minute.

Going into the last 10 minutes of the game the visitors regained their composer and fought their way back onto the front foot with the pack leading the way, particularly Wayne Adams who had dominated the line-out all afternoon. 

The power of the Scarborough eight was unleashed on the halfway line when from a line-out, a driving maul marched their opponents to within a metre of their own line before a knock-on ended the try scoring opportunity.

Undeterred, the visitors stuck to their task and under severe forward pressure Heath conceded a penalty in the 80th minute.

Jones made no mistake with the boot for 26-15.

Referee David Downham played 10 minutes of added on time but Scarborough ran out thoroughly deserved 26-15 winner of a hugely entertaining game.

Although the Scarborough forwards completely outplayed their opponents in every phase of forward play the backs had their best outing of the season against a lively Heath back division who had scored 89 league tries this season.

In a superb team performance perhaps Adams took the plaudits up front with Stewart and Parker the pick of the backs.

Scarborough: Jeffrey, Domett, White, Parker, Squire, Stewart, Morete, Lowde, Jones, Taylor, Ingham (capt), Adams, Karl, Tite.

Substitutes: Williams, Proudfoot and Grace (all used)