Kelleythorpe welcomed Heath who, like ourselves, will be delighted with their first season at Level 5. They have a game in hand and Billingham still to play, so still had a slim chance of catching them. However, if both we and Billingham won today, Billingham would be crowned worthy champions. So, Heath would start the game doing everything they could to make sure the title race went to another week, and we would look to protect ‘Fortress Kelleythorpe’.
Driffield started with almost the same XV as the previous week.
The early contests were well-matched, although Heath probably had the balance of territory. But they were unable to break through staunch Driffield defence even when it looked as if they had a man over.
It took almost 30 minutes before the first score, when Rix burst through the left side of the park and headed to the right of the posts, outpacing the cover tackles that came. Watts converted. Driffield 7 – 0 Heath
Just five minutes later, Watts slotted a penalty to extend the lead. Driffield 10 – 0 Heath
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Heath got a penalty back. Driffield 10 – 3 Heath
Five minutes into the second half, Watts got another penalty. Driffield 13 – 3 Heath
He added to his tally on the quarter hour, finding space down the right wing, but too far out for the conversion. Driffield 18 – 3 Heath
Five minutes later, and it was Short’s turn to find a way around the defence, narrowing the gap to the sticks, allowing Watts to convert. Driffield 25 – 3 Heath
With less than five minutes to go, Dinsdale shrugged off tackles and headed to the right corner to claim the bonus-point try, too far out for the conversion which fell just short. Driffield 30 – 3 Heath.
Not content with this, Driffield once again battered the now-tired Heath line, until Thundercliffe emerged from the bottom of the heap having been bundled over the line from a maul by the pack. Watts converted. Driffield 37 – 3 Heath
This was an impressive performance by the home team, retaining their focus for the full 80 minutes, withstanding the initial pressure, and relentlessly turning up the wick.
For Heath, it will have been a long trip home.