Saturday 11 November 2023
Harrogate returned to winning ways on a heavy pitch in the battle of the sides relegated from Level 4 at the end of last season.
After a bout of kicking tennis, Orisi Katalau kicked through down the right for Oli Toomey to collect and cross for the opening score. Unfortunately, the additional points were not added.
Shortly after, Ben Richardson broke through on Blaydon ball. Jacob Percival carried on and went over for Gate’s second try. Rory Macnab’s conversion opened up a 12 point lead after just 8 minutes.
Twelve minutes later, Gate were 19 – 0 up. Orisi caught Oli Toomey’s cross-kick and ran over for a converted try.
It was then Blaydon’s turn. The ball was kicked through, collected and interchanged down the left wing for John Clarkson to score. However, the conversion was missed.
Just before half-time, Harrogate got their 4th and bonus point try. Once again, Toomey cross-kicked. This time Jack Haydock caught the ball, beat the defence and passed to Tom Steene for the score. Rory Macnab converted, so Harrogate led 26 – 5 at the half.
At the start of the second half, Gate pressed and moved the ball right. Whilst there was no score, a technical offence saw Blaydon’s Dan Marshall receive a yellow card.
It was at the end of this yellow card period that Blaydon scored. Turning over the ball just short of Harrogate’s line, Ethan Clarke drove over for a try that Nathan Clarke converted.
There were no further scores but Blaydon was closest when they were held up over Gate’s line mid-way through the half.
Harrogate thus maintains a 2-point lead at the top of the table, and travel to Cleckheaton next week looking to maintain that position.
Harrogate: Macnab, Haydock, Kaisia, Steene, Katalau, Toomey, Olley, Percival, Maycock, Vaughan, Pritchard, Brady (c), Dodds M, Richardson, Hill. Replacements: Phipps, Butler, Fox.
Blaydon: Mikles, Appleton, Marshall, Coates, Stamper, Gough, Clarkson, Fearn, Duffy, Dodds A, Barry (c), Turnbull, Dynan, Roy, Clarke. Replacements: Winter, Laidlaw, Pentland.
Referee: Adam Robson (Yorkshire Society)
13 November 2023