On a cold, windy afternoon at Silver Royd on Saturday Scarborough, after giving a stuttering first-half display, eventually ran out easy winners of this clash against a limited but hard-working Heath team.
For the first 30 minutes with the wind behind them Scarborough struggled for possession.
With their lineout hardly functioning and the scrums being whipped around by the West Yorkshiremen’s pack for the first 25 minutes Scarborough’s backs were starved of good possession.
They did however show glimpses that given good ball Scarborough’s backs could cause Heath real problems and in the 10th minute Craig Farrell was almost put in for a try following an incisive threequarter move.
Two minutes later they did take the lead after another Farrell break which took play to the visitors line only for Heath to give away a penalty in front of the posts which fellow centre Tom Ratcliffe kicked to take Scarborough into a three-point lead.
Heath then took control for a while through good forward drives which made them ground and only good relieving kicks by fly-half Rob James made good yardage for the hosts.
Scarborough were still having problems with the lineout and at one of these their No7 Sam Warren was yellow-carded for an offence.
But being a man down for 10 minutes appeared to waken Scarborough up and their play became much more urgent and the scrummage became tighter.
In the 31st minute they increased their lead with a fine try.
Heath trying to make ground through their pack had the ball stolen from them by a Scarborough forward and good running by Farrell and James took play to the Heath line.
The ball was moved quickly to the right and hooker Ian Williams strode over the try-line unopposed from short range.
Ratcliffe converted the try to take Scarborough into a 10 point lead.
Borough then began opening the game up and in the last minute of the half the impressive James broke away at speed 25 metres out to score a try under the posts.
Ratcliffe again converted to give Scarborough a 17-point lead at half-time
The second half began as the first had ended with Scarborough on the attack, targeting the Heath midfield defence which was proving to be increasingly brittle.
A great break by winger Paul White ended when he ran out of support with a try appearing likely, the ball being kicked by a Heath player way downfield into the home 20 where only good defensive work on their own line saved a likely try for the visitors from a driven lineout.
Several times with Farrell, James and Ratcliffe to the fore Scarborough made what ought to have been try-scoring chances only for them to be wasted through lack of support .
But the pressure eventually had to tell and in the 52nd minute increased their lead when Graeme Jeffrey broke through the Heath defence on halfway before passing the ball to White who beat two men on a run to the try-line.
Ratcliffe again converted to take Scarborough into a 24-point lead.
Scarborough now pressurised the Heath midfield even more and in the 60th minute went further ahead with a try by Ratcliffe, who juggled with the ball several times before scoring wide out following fine breaks by James and Charlie Hoggard.
Two minutes later the home crowd roared with delight as substitute Tom Harrison, who had been out for several weeks with a ham string injury, finished of another fine piece of rugby by Farrell to score under the posts from 40 metres out.
This gave Scarborough a 36 point lead with Ratcliffe’s conversion.
Scarborough didn’t ease off and with forwards and backs now fully on top of there game continued to shred the Heath defence almost at will. and ought to have increased their lead when Ratcliffe broke away down the left gave a poor pass to White who couldn’t hold on to the ball.
It looked very likely that Ratcliffe could have scored himself if he had hung on to the ball.
But in what turned out to be the dying seconds James scored his second try in the left hand corner with the Heath defence in tatters.
After what was a poor start to the match Scarborough eventually won this game at a canter playing open attractive rugby, and with a little more precision play it could have been a much larger winning total.
Mr Leahy the referee is in his first season controlling Rugby Union matches and overall had a fine game.
He is a Premier League Rugby League referee and takes control of the Bradford Bulls match this Sunday.
All at the club will look forward to seeing him again.