Local Derby Success for Pythons 1st XV

Ripon RUFC 1st XV 3 – 15 Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV

Match Report & Pictures by Julian Tatlow

Harrogate Pythons travelled to Ripon for their first encounter in league rugby.  A hard fought game sees The Pythons win 3 – 15 but miss out on a bonus point and now share top spot with Wensleydale.

A perfect autumnal afternoon for rugby, The Pythons are quick into their plays keeping the home side pinned down in their own half.  The Pythons driving game was met with some stern defence but perseverance kept captain Will Butler and his forwards pressuring the line.  Frustrating penalties gave the home side the opportunity to clear their lines on a number of occasions but Joe Bentham and James Audsley-Beck’s pace keep the game in the home side’s half.  Jack Hall and Hugh Tatlow piled the pressure on close to the breakdowns and Marcus Fotherby’s dominance in the line out kept the attacks pressurising the line.  A rare foray into The Python’s half gives the home side a shot at goal, 3-0 on 20 mins.

Back to their familiar pattern and Hall and Calum Brock work well with Audsley-Beck sniping around the breakdown.  A perfect pass from Audsley-Beck takes 2 defenders out of the game for Sam Beagrie to power over the line.  Jed Carr adds the extras, 3-7 on 25mins.

Bentham dodges through the middle to return a kick, feeds Beagrie in the open only to be frustrated by a stumble with the line beckoning.  The Pythons receive a yellow card for persistent penalties and Ripon receive one for a dangerous tackle following an overthrown line out ball. Half time

The Pythons created chances at the start of the second half with breaks by centre Tim Evans and great backing up from Bentham but were denied points through technical infringements spotted by the referee.  George Booth and Ed Challis came on to add to the driving game but Ripon’s defensive line continued to hold firm.  After several phases, Evans sees a gap, gains 20m before sending a perfectly timed pass to Bentham to dive into the corner, 3-12 on 70mins.

Playing an advantage for off side in front of the posts, Liam Kernaghan feeds Max Sharp who floats a pass to the unmarked Bentham only for a deliberate knock on by a defender to halt play with the referee awarding the penalty for the earlier offence.  Carr kicks the penalty, 3-15 Full time.

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