Harrogate rugby

Chester 45 Harrogate 19

6 November 2022

Saturday 5 November 2022

This was Sam Brady’s 200th appearance, and whilst the Harrogate stalwart produced his usual industrious performance, he was unable to lead his side to victory. At the other end of the scale, Lucas Brathwaite and Pharrell Parker-Clarke made their debuts for the Club.

Just before kick-off, the heavens opened, making the opening exchanges difficult for both sides. However, Chester pressure was met with strong Harrogate defence.

After quarter of an hour, Harrogate had a fortunate escape. Ollie Wynn, Chester’s scrum-half, who had his contract with Worcester Warriors cancelled when they entered administration, broke through at pace in midfield. He kicked through, but knocked on to deny the opening score.

This came shortly after when, following a bout of kicking, the ball dropped to Harrison Vare, who ran in from 30 metres. Gethin Long converted to put the home side 7 – 0 up.

Wynn was not to be denied. After half an hour, as a result of Chester forward pressure, he broke from Harrogate’s 22 to score under the posts, converted by Long.

Chester continued to attack and only an excellent cover tackle from Dan Troup prevented them extending their lead. Gate were then forced to drop-out from behind their own goal-line, following which Chester moved the ball to the blind side from a subsequent phase of play and scored in the left-hand corner through Alick Croft.

Nonetheless, Harrogate gave themselves hope just before half-time. Having run the ball at Chester, continual forward pressure enabled Will Hill to go over, with Sam Fox converting.

With the half-time score, 19 – 7 to Chester, Harrogate came out and started the second half on the front foot. Unfortunately, they could not affect the scoreboard and Chester scored three tries to take the game out of reach. Vare scored his second try before Croft got his second and third – Long converting the first and last of these.

Harrogate did not give up and responded well. Parker-Clarke drove over though the conversion was missed. Despite Williams then scoring a further converted try for Chester, he went over for his second try minutes from the end, with Fox converting.

As time expired, Harrogate knocked on the door to hopefully secure a bonus point with a further try. Chester’s defence however kept them out, and it was not to be. The game thus ending Chester 45 Harrogate 19.

Next week’s game is a home match against Preston Grasshoppers, kick-off at 2pm, preceded by the Ladies playing against Cheltenham Tigers at 11.30 am. Having been deducted points for not fulfilling a game against Rotherham at the end of last season, and following results elsewhere, this is a vital game even at this stage of the season. We would therefore appreciate as much support as possible.


Chester: Long, Phillips, Green, Lewtas, Vare, Hampson, Wynn, Woods, Croft, Furnival, Wilkinson (capt), Byrne, Joseph, G Baxter, Cox. Subs: Williams, Owen, Callander, Reeve, Holloway

Harrogate: Rawlinson, Magee Scrase, Fox, Yates Troup, Brathwaite, Derbyshire, Maycock, T Baxter, Fenn, Brady (capt), Breen, Hill, Spencer-Jones. Subs: Jackson, Parker-Clarke, Booth, Swanson, Steene.

Referee: Owen Taylor (RFU)

Tim Thorley
Harrogate RUFC
6 November 2022

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