West 8 Harrogate 29

By El Pedro - February 16 2013
West 8 Harrogate 29 We kept it close for most of the game but three second half tries gave second-placed Harrogate a deserved victory and tightened their grip on a playoff place.

Once again the effort and commitment shown by our group of largely young, inexperienced players could not be faulted, but we remain at the foot of the table, 20 points from safety with only 7 games left to play.

Harrogate had by far the better of the opening exchanges and wing Noel Minikin opened their account with a try after just 6 minutes. A half break from the base of a scrum by Phillip Wickham was enough to draw our defence in and create an overlap for Minikin to touch down easily in the right corner.

When James Browne doubled the lead inside 20 minutes it was starting to look like being a long afternoon with our defence creaking every time Harrogate had possession. Thankfully we steadied the ship and began to show some of the spirit and work ethic which has been evident in the last few outings. A couple of clever kicks, combined with a good chase, pushed play into the Harrogate 22 and whilst we failed to convert that territory into points it did change momentum and disrupted the rhythm the visitors had established early in the game.

We started the second half on the attack with a good rolling maul moving play deep into the 22 but despite a few surges for the line we eventually had to be content with a Waites penalty after the visiting backs were caught offside.

The three points brought us right back into the game at 10-3 and although we had created few scoring chances Harrogate no longer looked the fluid attacking force they had in the opening 10 minutes.

The next score seemed all important in terms of the match outcome and it proved to be so. It arrived with an hour played and in somewhat strange circumstances. There was nothing unusual about the try itself - a series of carries and quick ball recycling created an overlap on the right for Harrogate and they got the touchdown in the right corner. As the try was scored a number of players were incensed as they had seen the touch judge’s flag raised and then lowered in the moments before the ball was touched down. A foot had not been in touch and after some deliberation referee Dean Lythgoe awarded the try and sent Andrew Dixon to the sin-bin for his part in the protest. Quite why the flag was raised remains a mystery but conceding a crucial try and being reduced to 14-men for the next ten minutes ended any hopes of a remarkable upset on the scoreboard.

With Dixon off the field Harrogate added converted tries from Kyle Dench and Timothy Heaton to claim their potentially crucial bonus point. We did manage to have the final say, as with the last play of the game a looping pass from Waites found Andrew Cheslin who went over in the left corner for a try the team’s effort certainly deserved.

West: Mallinson, Butcher, A Cheslin, C Cheslin, Edwards, Waites, Painter, Pinchen, Dixon, Coates, Robson, Hogan, Myers, D Boatman, J Boatman.
Reps: Wood, Atkins, Featherstone

Try: A Cheslin
Pen: Waites
YC: Dixon

Harrogate: Denton, Minikin, Dench, Bottomley, Audsley-Beck, Irvine, Wickham, Metcalfe, Maycock, Browne, Harvey, Brady, Wilson, Smith, Heaton

Tries: Minikin, Browne, Heaton, Dench, Maycock
Cons: Irvine 2

Referee: Dean Lythgoe [North Group]

West 8 Harrogate 29
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
17/02/2013 09:44
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Re: West 8 Harrogate 29
aquinn (IP Logged)
17/02/2013 09:48
Looks like another day of trying hard but just not happening. It will come and we as a club can keep building for the future

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/02/2013 09:59 by aquinn.

Re: West 8 Harrogate 29
Dogtrack (IP Logged)
17/02/2013 10:20
Harrogate didn't look anything special - perhaps that's down to the way we played at times?
I thought the young team did well, despite the result, and hope that the players can keep their collective heads up for the rest of the season.
We are going down, but it's VERY important we are ready for next season so the slide doesn't continue. We are struggling now, but hopefully we have a bright future if the young talent we have is allowed to develop.
The players deserve every credit for not allowing the situation to get them down.

Re: West 8 Harrogate 29
18/02/2013 10:28
A bright future if players get themselves out training. Too many tries conceded in the last quarter, and to be honest the decision making from both sides was poor and cost tries.

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