Harrogate rugby

Heath 18 Harrogate 13

13 December 2023

Saturday 9 December 2023

Harrogate travelled to Heath last Saturday and, in wet and difficult conditions, suffered their second defeat of the season.

The opening exchanges were fairly even before James Magee broke from halfway down Harrogate’s right. The move carried on and debutant Josh Adamson took play into Heath’s 22 from which Harrogate won a penalty. This was duly converted by Rory Macnab, who extended the lead with another penalty shortly after.

Despite the awkward conditions, both sides tried to run the ball. However, this was really a day for the forwards, with Will Hill, in particular, being to the fore in the first half.

On the stroke of half-time, Heath got on the scoreboard when Ezra Hinchcliffe kicked a penalty to make the score Heath 3, Harrogate 6.

It was in the 10-minute period after half-time that Heath effectively won this game. Firstly, a cross-kick saw Joe Morrison collect the ball and cross in the left-hand corner, though the conversion was missed. A penalty from Hinchcliffe in the 47th minute extended the lead. Then, from the resulting kick-off, Heath won the ball, ran back at Harrogate with Josh Crickmay going over for a second try that was converted by Chris Johnson, and giving them an 18 – 6 lead.

Nonetheless, Harrogate continued to pressure Heath, and following a series of penalties conceded just short of their line, Heath were reduced to 14 men on the production of a yellow card. Immediately, Jacob Percival, appearing in Harrogate colours for the 50th time, ploughed over for a try that Rory Macnab converted to reduce the deficit to 5 points with over 20 minutes to play.

Heavy rain continued to fall for the remainder of the match, which made it difficult for both sides to control the ball. This, and Heath’s strong defence, meant no further scores with Heath running out winners.

Harrogate’s last game before the Christmas break takes place this Saturday against local rivals, Ilkley, at Rudding Lane, kick-off 2 pm.


Heath: Brook, Harriott-Brown, Malthouse, Hinchcliffe, Morrison, Cole, Walsh, Pilcher, McFadden, Moore, Boussaada, Hampshire, Fleming, Keighley-Payne (c), Stringer. Replacements: Johnson, Clough, Crickmay.

Harrogate: Macnab R, Macnab O, Magee, Kaisia, Adamson, Steene, Olley, Percival, Maycock, Vaughan, Pritchard, Brady (c), Richardson, Dodds, Hill. Replacements: Butler, Phipps, Ebsworth.

Referee: Matthew Higgins (Yorkshire Society)

Tim Thorley
Harrogate RUFC
12 December 2023

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