Saturday 23 September 2023
An excellent second-half performance saw Harrogate overcome a spirited Alnwick side and go top of the table at this early stage of the season.
Rain prior to the game made conditions greasy, and the ball difficult to control. This resulted in early penalty exchanges from Rory Macnab and Evan Moir, before Moir kicked his second to put Alnwick 6 – 3 up with a quarter of the game gone.
Gate took the game to Alnwick, but the strong Alnwick defence and the slippery ball restricted Gate to 2 further penalties. Rory Macnab slotting both to give Gate a 9 – 6 half-time lead.
Whatever was then said in the changing room saw Gate come out a different side and dominate the rest of the match, scoring 5 tries without reply.
Firstly, Steve Maycock finished off a forward drive, converted by Macnab. Ten minutes later, Orisi Katalau went over, following a left to right move, again converted by Macnab.
Harrogate’s forward supremacy continued. With Alnwick down to 14 men, reward came when a penalty try was awarded with just under 15 minutes to go. This also resulted in Alnwick receiving a further yellow card.
With 5 minutes to go, it appeared as though Harrogate was going to drive over from a scrum. However, Will Hill picked up the ball from the base and powered over for a converted try, which secured Gate’s bonus point.
The final score came with just a minute left. The ball was moved to the right and Ben Raubitschek broke through to touch down. Rory Macnab converted to complete his 100% accuracy from the tee on the day.
Despite their dominance, in the final throes, Gate went down to 13 when Josh Peace and Ben Richardson were yellow-carded. Nonetheless, fine defence ensured Alnwick was unable to get a consolation score.
Next week’s game sees Sandal visit Rudding Lane, kick off 3pm. This also marks our Former Players’ lunch, any team and any era, and we look forward to welcoming as many old friends as possible.
Alnwick: Spark, Dodds, Eggleston, Robson, Ord A, Moir, Ord S, Elliott (c), Smith, Burn, Young, Inglis, Blackett, Pettifer, Farmer. Replacements: Brown, Mallerburn, Courty.
Harrogate: Macnab, Haydock, Miller, Kaisia, Katalau Steene, Olley, Peace, Maycock, Vaughan, Pritchard, Brady (c), Coser, Richardson, Hill. Replacements: Percival, Edgar, Raubitschek.
Referee: George Nuttall (Manchester Society)
24 September 2023