Harrogate Pythons 2nd XV 38 – 24 Bramley Phoenix 2nd XV
Match Report – Neil Summersall. Pictures – Peter Jesper & Si Womersley.
The Pirates welcomed Bramley to JSG for this Merit Table game played in sunny conditions in front of a large crowd. Al Brown and Fortress had assembled a strong squad of 20 including a debutant in Chris Todd and with Bramley struggling for front row numbers, Wiggo volunteered to swap shirts and guest for Bramley.
Bramley kicked off and had the Pirates under pressure from the start. Eventually the referee penalised the Pirates for offside and Bramley’s No10 stepped up to give Bramley the lead. 0-3 3 mins. Bramley again attacked from the restart but some good defensive work from Louis Dabhi-Green and Nick Bell saved the day. The Pirates won an attacking lineout which Bramley held up. However Calum Brock was quick to react and drove over from the base. Alex Nicholls added the extras. 7-3 14 mins. The Pirates were now enjoying more territory and a deft kick from Matt Audsley was almost collected by Bell on the wing. Following a strong carry from Lenny the ball came back quickly to Nicholls who stepped through the defence to add to the lead. Nicholls converted his own try. 14-3 25 mins. The referee then spotted the Bramley winger in front of a kick and awarded the Pirates a penalty. Irish whipped quick ball to Nicholls who stepped his man and accelerated away to score under the posts. Nicholls again converted. 21-3 35 mins. Bramley ended the half pressing the Pirates line, but were kept at bay by some big hits from Ryan Bradshaw, Kieran Martin and Eddy Wilkinson. Half time Pirates 21 Bramley 3.
Bramley kept possession well at the start of the second half, but were kept out my more determined defence. A clever cross kick forced an attacking scrum and Dabhi-Green burst through a gap only to be called back for a forward pass. A period of Bramley pressure was eased when Steve Smith stripped the ball from Bramley’s centre in the tackle and Audsley found a long touch kick. Sean Glasswell found Brock in the lineout and Bradshaw ploughed over from close range. 26-3 57 mins. The restart was taken by Luke Price-Gerrard, making his long awaited return, who sped through the Bramley defence and linked with Nicholls who completed his hat-trick. 31-3 59 mins. Bramley responded well and a nice offloaded led to Bramley scoring under the posts. 31-10 63 mins. Another huge run from Rusty from the restart put the Pirates back on the front foot. From the lineout good hands saw Dabhi-Green cut back, shrug off the tackle and score under the posts. Nicholls added the conversion. 38-10 65 mins. The last 10 minutes saw the Pirates concede a string of penalties and Bramley ran in 2 tries to leave the final score Pirates 38 Bramley 24.
This was another strong performance by the Pirates which moves them up to 2nd place in their merit table.