Heath 2nds 31

Wharfedale Development XV 12

WHARFEDALE travelled to Heath as leaders of the Yorkshire Merit League – Championship North with high expectations of extending their lead at the top.

However, Heath had other ideas and the men in Green travelled back to the Dales with no points, on the wrong end of a seemingly comfortable 31-12 scoreline.

Heath were first on the scoreboard after only two minutes, when their right winger walked over the try line with the Wharfedale blindside defence completely absent.

Although Wharfedale dominated possession for most of the match with their forwards on top in the loose, they also dominated another area of the game...errors, including knock-ons, dropped and missed passes, missed touch kicks and giving away penalties when in possession.

This was despite a quick response to Heath’s opening try, with big second row Matthew Colgrave crashing over the line following sustained pressure from Wharfedale’s forwards.

Wharfedale continued to have a lot of possession and territory without any real penetration.

Their backs could not find a way through or outside a well-organised Heath defence and eventually Wharfedale error or penalty provided Heath with the opportunity to counter attack, which they did very effectively with their backs creating two further tries to lead 19-5 at half-time.

Again Wharfedale had Heath under pressure for long periods of time in the second half and they scored a second try through the forwards with Colgrave again to the fore, bulldozing his way over for a converted try to make it 19-12.

But try as they might, with acres of possession and opportunity, they could not turn dominance into points and Heath scored two further tries on the counter... the last of which was a stunner.

When it seemed certain that Wharfedale fly half Ollie White would score, clean through with only the full back to beat and plenty of support, somehow the ball squirmed away, found its way into Heath arms and 20 seconds later they were under the posts.