Harrogate Pythons travelled to Beverley hoping to do the double but came away with a 34-34 draw – 3 league points.
Beverley take an early lead with 2 penalties despite The Pythons pressure and possession. Pete Millward secures a line out, Luke Price-Gerrard carries to 5m. Quickly rec cycled ball and Millward is held on the line. Quick ball again and Jed Carr floats a wide pass to Tom Stabler-Langan to dive over in the corner, 6-5 on 20 mins.
The Pythons dominate the next few phases with Millward, Matt Leach and Ed Challis making good ground through the middle. Carr spots Langan out wide and floats a pass, Langan steps inside and out paces the defence to score his second next to the posts. Carr with the extras, 6-12 on 30 mins. Beverley intercept a pass against the run of play and score under the posts, 13-13 on 35 mins.
Millward leads the charge back towards the home line with George Booth and Will Milnes gaining valuable yards. Sam Rowntree secures the ball and feeds Carr who puts Challis into space to race over from 15 yards, Carr with the extras 13-19 half time.
Beverley take advantage of a missed clearance and spin the ball wide for a try in the corner, 20-19. The Pythons gain ground once again with attacking phases but a stripped ball sees the home 10 race 60m to score under the posts, 27-19.
Saul Adshead carries from deep inside his own half and feeds Rowntree halted by a high tackle. Beverley are yellow carded and lose a man. Carr opts for the scrum, in desperation the home side give away 2 more penalties. Carr opts for the scrum and Milnes picks from number 8 and drives over to score, Carr with the conversion 27-26. Some lax tackling in mid field allows Beverley another score, 34-26. Carr secures a bonus point with a penalty, 34-29 and the Pythons launch another attack with minutes left. Millward and Will Butler drive in the 22, quick ball at the breakdown sees Carr feed Hugh Tatlow who races in from 20m, Carr just misses the kick, 34-34 the ref ends the game.
After the game Dan Bird said, “A fantastic result on the road and 3 valuable points in the race for survival.
Our forwards were able to assert their dominance early in the game by controlling the scrum and this was compounded by powerful carries from 1-8 in open play. At moments it felt like the game was about to break out in our favour but it remained in the balance for the full 80. Huge positives around our defence sets and how we turned defence into attack with such ruthlessness.
As a coaching team we will leave no stone unturned between now and the end of the season to ensure Counties 1 survival. This week we will be boosted by the arrival of Calum Irvine as a coach mentor for our first receivers. We are very much looking forward to working with him”