Wath Upon Dearne RUFC 1st XV 40 – 36 Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV.
Match Report & Pictures by Julian Tatlow.
(Click on pictures for expanded view)
Three tries in the last 10 minutes but the Pythons just lose out 40-36 at 4th placed Wath Upon Dearne securing 2 bonus points. With Wensleydale getting a walk over against Barnsley their position as League Champions is confirmed. Baildon get a bonus point win at Wheatley Hills leaving The Pythons still in second place 1 point ahead.
Wath took an early lead following a catch and drive line out 20m out, 7-0 on 5 mins. Some strong running from Will Butler and Matt Leach carried The Pythons into Wath territory but a spilled ball and a clever kick from the home influential 10 and The Pythons give away a penalty on their 22. Quickly taken but an over eager tackle within 10m and The Pythons receive a yellow card. Wath kick the penalty, 10 -0 on 15mins. More indiscipline offers Wath another shot at goal, 13 – 0 on 20mins.
The Pythons re group and start their phase play with Jack Hall and George Booth both carrying well. Under pressure Wath enter the side of a ruck and Jed Carr narrows the gap, 13 – 3 on 25 mins. A deft kick by the Wath stand off gives another line out on The Pythons 5m line. Controlled catch and drive again, 20 – 3 on 30 mins.
Clean ball from the restart and George Booth and Butler carry the ball into mid field, Carr threads an inch perfect pass to Bailey Bromberg on half way who beats the opposition line with raw pace to touch down in the corner, Carr with the extras 20 – 10 half time.
Wath were under pressure from the kick off as Sam Considine and Harry Parrish chase down Carr’s kick ahead. Under pressure the full back attempts a clearance kick behind his own line, Hugh Tatlow charges down and Ed Challis touches down, 20 – 17. Wath were quickly back on the offensive. A tip tackle earns The Pythons another yellow card. Wath scrum the penalty and score in the corner, 25 – 17. Another scrum on the away 5m line and Wath run in another in the corner 30 – 17. Still under pressure The Pythons concede again against a wide ball, 37 – 17 on 70 mins.
The next 10 minutes confirmed the resolve of Dan Bird’s men. Considine returned a long clearance kick 40m beating tackles to score under the posts, 37 – 24. Carr drills a penalty to the 5m line, Jon Pickard secures the ball and Hall, Sandy Dunlop and Challis all challenge the line. Evergreen Matt Leach is held up inches short but a superb off load to Challis and he steps over the line, 37 – 31 with minutes left. James Audsley-Beck breaks from the kick off and the pressure is again on the Wath line. Controlled phase play and Nathan Wake crashes over from 5m, Carr just wide 37 – 36. Wath gain possession from the kick off and drop a goal leaving the final score 40-36.
After the game coach Dan Bird said, “It’s difficult to win any game of rugby when you hand your opposition a 20 point start. Too many personal errors and poor discipline meant that we handed Wath a huge foothold in the match. In the second half there were flashes of real brilliance and we imposed ourselves well get back into the tie. We had moments to win it but we just couldn’t convert the pressure.”