Skipton 0-53 Pythons 1st XV

9 try haul at Skipton boosts Pythons confidence

Harrogate Pythons travelled to Skipton wanting to build on their narrow victory away at Hemsworth last week. ”Skipton are an unpredictable side”, said Python’s Coach Bird, ”They always have a big well drilled pack, probably one of the better ones in the league. We’ll need to keep on top especially at the breakdown,” he added.

The Pythons kicked off and were given an immediate opportunity as the home side knocked on on their 22m line. A successful scrum began the phases with debutant Ollie Myers showing confidence in the mid field. Pressure from Steve Lennox and Nathan Wake advanced the gain line and clean ball to centre Tim Evans saw a powerful hand off, try after 2 minutes. Will Cough added the extra 0 – 7.
Powerful driving from Lennox, a deep kick from Clough and a clearance kick by the home side gave The Pythons a line out 10m out. Won by Hugh Tatlow, Wake’s forceful run set Clough up to break tackles and score under the posts, he added the extra 0 -14 (20 mins).

Sandy Dunlop’s superb turn over at the breakdown set The Pythons up for the next attack. Quick hands from the back of a line out gave returning Jake Harland an arcing run into the corner. Clough added the extras from the touchline 0 – 21. Skipton held against strong runs from Evans and Ed Challis – half time.

Some scrappy play started the second half with the home side looking as if they were getting back into the game. Luke Price Gerrard carried from deep in his own 22, feeding Evans who timed a perfect short pass to Joe Bentham on half way out pacing the defence, try with the extras added by Steve Kirkpatrick 0 – 28 (60 mins). The Pythons pack were well on top and changes in the front row saw Will Butler’s opposite number yellow carded for repeatedly standing up under pressure. A Jed Carr penalty gave The Pythons an attacking line out on the 5m line. A clean take and drive by Tatlow, try 0 – 33.
The Pythons continued applying pressure and a 5m scrum saw Tatlow touch down over the line 0 – 38. The home side a no answer to The Pythons dominance and a powerful 20m run from the kick off by Tatlow fed Price-Gerrard for a simple run in 0 – 43. Frustration by the home side was inevitable with a high tackle on Bentham leading to a yellow card with a second yellow given at the same time for talking back.

A quickly taken penalty put Harland into the corner 0 – 48 and some confident handling put Evans over just before the whistle 0 – 53, full time.
“Our 9 and 10 combination worked well today. That will always give confidence as you could see from the strength of running and safe hands from the guys. Mistakes were low and few penalties conceded”, commented Coach Bird, “Sheffield Medics at The Jim Saynor Ground next week – we’ll repeat this performance”, he added

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