Harrogate rugby

Blaydon 31 Harrogate 22 Saturday 15 April 2023

18 April 2023

There was nothing to play for in this match between the two teams who have already been relegated from National League 2 North, other than pride and avoiding the ignominy of the dreaded “wooden spoon”.

Blaydon started the game in the ascendency and were handed an early advantage when Will Rawlinson saw yellow. Shortly after, Nathan Bailey went over for the game’s opening score, converted by John Clarkson. Gate responded, despite their numerical disadvantage, and Harry Yates crashed over, with the conversion by Rory Macnab levelling the score.

Restored to parity, Gate took control of the game through dominant scrum and lineout play, eventually taking the lead when Harry Yates broke through for his second try. The conversion was missed and Gate was unable to gain further reward for their time on top. Indeed, Gate had to show excellent defence to protect the lead when Blaydon was cover-tackled into touch just short of the line.

Blaydon ended the first half temporarily in the ascendency, but with their being no further scores, Gate led 12 – 7 at half time.

That changed in the 15 minutes at the beginning of the second half. Firstly, Charlie Smith went over from a forward drive for a converted try. Then, securing more possession, Blaydon ran the ball at Gate and Chidera Obonna scored two unconverted tries to give them a 12 point lead from which they never looked back.

Harrogate’s forward pressure got them briefly back into the game when Will Hill scored the side’s third try, but this was not converted. Blaydon then put the gloss on their performance when Obonna completed his hat-trick with 5 minutes to go, and Ben Douglas converted.

With Blaydon reduced to 14 men, Harrogate got a bonus point try when Simon Ridgway forced his way over. If the conversion had been successful, a second bonus point could have been secured, but it was rushed and missed. The final score of 31 – 22 to Blaydon saw them claim 5 points in the league and Harrogate 1.

All this means that both teams are now on 23 points, but by virtue of having more wins, Harrogate sit above Blaydon in the table. Gate’s hopes of avoiding finishing bottom now rest on securing at least as many points in their last match of the season as Blaydon do in their remaining two.

That match takes place this Saturday, 22 April, at Rudding Lane, kick off 3pm. Entry is free to all, so we hope to see as many of you as possible.


Blaydon: Bailey, Sommersall, Cooney (c), Clark, Appleton, Marshall, Clarkson, Siddle, Smith C, Dodds A, Turnbull, Barry, Wright, Smith J, Roy. Replacements: Duffy, Rewcastle, Clarke, Douglas, Obonna.

Harrogate: Macnab, Buckley, Rawlinson, Yates H, Yates W, Fox, Olley, Percival, Maycock, Baxter, Fenn, Brady (c), Dodds M, Hill, Walker. Replacements: Ridgway, Peace, Jackson, Raubitschek, Scrase.

Referee: Dave Charlton (RFU)

Tim Thorley
Harrogate RUFC
17 April 2023

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