IN the National Conference League Premier Division Heworth, despite high expectations, failed in their bid to produce back to back wins after a below par performance saw them fall to a 30-12 defeat to St Helens based Thatto Heath Crusaders at Elmpark Way.

After Heworth’s superb and memorable 20-16 triumph over local rivals York Acorn, in what was a first ever meeting between the two sides, the York-based side were unable to follow up on the joys of last week against a vigilant Thatto Heath Crusaders.

A return to Elmpark Way promised hope for the home supporters, but it wouldn’t be the afternoon they were expecting.

The sides were locked at 12-12 at the break before the visitors, who were the better side throughout in all facets of the game, went on to totally dominate the second half and post three unanswered tries for a comfortable victory.

The Villagers got off to the worst possible start; after failing to gather the opening kick off the visitors capitalised on the error and took the lead with a try by Gabe Ellis converted by winger Jake Dickinson.

Buoyed, the Crusaders kept up the pressure and showed some silky handling skills but despite looking threatening, were unable to turn it into points.

Heworth then responded to produce their best spell of the match and levelled on 17 minutes when Danny Allan threaded a neat grubber kick into the visitors in-goal area which was gathered by a defender who attempted to run the ball out and the stand off followed up to steal the ball in a one on one tackle and touch down for a fine opportunist try. Hooker Jack Sadler added the extras.

Nine minutes later, Sadler turned provider to send substitute forward Ben Barnard crashing over from close range next to the posts and tag on his second conversion to put Heworth in front for the only time in the match.

The visitors though were undeterred and three minutes before the break scrum half Ryan Houghton crossed for their second touchdown which was improved by Dickinson to square matters at 12-12.

The second period belonged solely to the Crusaders who started to create gaps in the usually steely home defence on a regular basis and they seized the initiative in the 48th and 53rd minutes with tries by centre George Charnock and second rower Adam Saunders both improved by Dickinson to put them 24-12 ahead.

The Villagers with their attack looking increasingly ineffective were unable to respond and with quarter of an hour remaining Charnock intercepted a stray pass and raced 60 metres to cross for his second touchdown and Dickinson completed a perfect afternoon with the boot for a comprehensive 30-12 success.

For the second successive week prop Jack Aldous took the Villagers Man of the Match award.

Next Saturday Heworth take a break for the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, and are next in action on Saturday, June 15 when they make the first of three long trips to Whitehaven to face Kells.