Harrogate Pythons played their first ever fixture against a Bradford Salem side and miss out on bonus points losing 36-22 in a hard fought game.
The Pythons were first on the score board when the away pack destroyed Salem in the first scrum. Will Clough slots the penalty 0-3 on 5 mins. Salem were quickly back on the offensive breaking from an untidy line out to score, 5-3. The Pythons lose a front row player to a head injury and Salem score again 12-3.
The Pythons make ground through the middle, Jed Carr feeds Hugh Tatlow who breaks the home defence to touch down from 40m. Clough with the extras 12-10. Unfortunately during the phase of play another Python front row player leaves the field and the scrums go to uncontested for the rest of the game removing a significant advantage. The home side run in two more tries , 24-10 half time.
Salem begin to use the wide channels and score twice in minutes, 36-10. The Pythons create a period of intense pressure in which Salem give away several penalties. Clough takes a quick penalty to Carr who puts Sam Rowntree into the corner, 36 -15. Pythons are straight back on the offensive, Ed Challis and Tim Evans are both held up short but quickly recycled ball sees Marcus Fotherby dive over next to the posts, Clough adds the extras 36-22. Desperate for bonus points The Pythons apply pressure on the home line, penalties ensue as does a yellow card for Salem. The ref blows for full time.
After the game Coach Dan Bird said, “This result really didn’t feel a fair reflection of this contest. Once again our pack dominated at scrum time and this gave us a great platform during the first 20 mins. Clearly the work the lads put in during the off season is really paying off. We continue to show glimpses of great continuity in attack but all too often we are doing this in the wrong areas of the pitch, amplifying pressure on transition. “
This coming Saturday The Pythons will look to their 2nd win in Y1 when they play Pocklington at home, ko 3pm.