Harrogate rugby

Harrogate 20 Alnwick 15

11 March 2024

Saturday 9 March 2024

Harrogate’s home game against Alnwick finally took place after 2 previous postponements, albeit on a very heavy pitch.

At the start, the game was played almost entirely in Alnwick’s half. In the 9th minute, Kodie Brook’s kick through caused Alnwick to carry the ball over their line and concede a 5-metre scrum. Gate won the ball, moved in right and Conor Miller opened the scoring. Oli Toomey, taking over kicking duties from the absent Rory Macnab, converted to give Gate a 7 – 0 lead.

This however was a vastly improved and much stronger Alnwick side than the opposition we met in September, and for the next 20 to 25 minutes, they controlled the game. In the 18th minute, Evan Moir reduced the deficit with a penalty conceded for not rolling away in the tackle. They took the lead in the 28th minute when a cross-kick was collected and Sean Hutchinson scored in the corner but Moir could not add the extras.

Harrogate’s strong defence, with Richie Kaisia very much to the fore, ensured no further scores, and with 5 minutes of the half remaining, Gate broke free and took the ball into Alnwick’s 22. Oli Toomey, who had his best game to date in a Harrogate shirt, produced a pinpoint cross-kick of his own for Conor Miller to catch and go over for his second try. Toomey converted to give Harrogate a 14 – 8 half-time lead.

Alnwick thought they had scored shortly after the restart. Having won a lineout 5 metres from the Gate line, they powered over. However, the referee was unable to see a clear grounding and deemed the ball to be held up, resulting in a goal-line drop-out.

Instead, it was Harrogate who stretched their lead in the 57th minute when Toomey kicked a penalty.

Alnwick continued to attack but Gate’s defence continued to hold out. Will Pritchard, having yet another fine game in the lineout, stole Alnwick’s throw 5 metres from the Gate line and ran 40 metres up-field. However, a conceded penalty undid the good work allowing Alnwick to return to Gate’s 22.

Alnwick was not to be denied. Following a dominant scrum, Alastair Blackett went through to score. With Moir converting, there was now only 2 points in it with 12 minutes left.

With 5 minutes to go, Toomey kicked his second penalty to make the score 20 – 15. Gate then showed good game awareness, controlling the ball and restricting any opposition opportunities to secure the win.

This result sees Gate move into 3rd place, 2 points behind York and Heath with a game in hand.

This weekend Harrogate entertains Cleckheaton, kick off 3pm.


Harrogate: Magee, Miller, Brook, Kaisia, Abram, Toomey, Olley, Butler, Maycock, Percival, Pritchard, Brady (c), Edgar, Coser, Hill. Replacements: Leatham, Fox, Wickham.

Alnwick: Cuthbert, Ord, Robson, Burn, Hutchinson, Moir, Todd, Elliott (c), Comber, Jolly, Gray, Ellis, Farmer, Blackett, Gothorp. Replacements: Smith, Davidson, Eggleston.

Referee: Tom Hurdley (Yorkshire Society)

Tim Thorley
Harrogate RUFC
11 March 2024

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