YMCA put up a vastly-improved show before finally bowing down to Yorkshire I outfit Heath 25-17 in first round of the Yorkshire Shield at Laund Hill.
In an entertaining game under the new YMCA floodlights in front a good-sized crowd, Gavin Stead and former Laund Hill player Ben Littlewood swapped early penalties, both sides being caught offside.
But midway through the half, Heath notched the game’s first try when fly-half Giles Hetherington found a small gap and sped through to touch down, Littlewood adding the extras to make it 10-3.
Stead pulled three points back with a penalty, only for Littlewood to counter with one for Heath when YM were pulled up for obstruction.
Early in the second half the Calderdale visitors extended their lead when the forwards drove up to YM’s line, from where winger Simon Brown dived under a pile of bodies and was rewarded when the referee adjudged he had touched down.
Back came YMCA through Stead, who was felled by a high tackle and promptly got up and knocked over the penalty, and was then on the mark again on 56 minutes, when Heath were penalised after dropping the ball.
The Laund Hill side were now very much in the game going into the last 15 minutes, and were piling on the pressure looking for a score to take the lead, but then disaster struck.
Heath suddenly broke out of their own half and, as so often happens, made it count with a match-winning score from outside centre Luke Clogher, who crashed over from close range.
Littlewood added the conversion to take Heath into a 25-12 lead.
There was just enough time for YM to close the gap once again, when after a couple of strong drives, Stephen Dyke charged over for his side’s only try.
It was a much better display than YM’s previous disappointing run-out at Goole, and against higher opposition.