Pythons Take Bonus Point Win at Baildon
Match Report and Pictures from Julian Tatlow
Harrogate Pythons 1st XV travelled to league favourites Baildon to fulfil their re arranged fixture.
Baildon kick off deep and bring Sam Beagrie, returning from a long injury, quickly into the game. Beagrie sets up possession in mid field and The Pythons begin their familiar phases. Will Clough sets Hugh Tatlow off on a 20m carry and with Marcus Fotherby in close support the offensive line is in the home side’s 22m area. An off side penalty under pressure and Clough slots the ball over, 0-3 on 4 mins. Baildon begin to show their Yorkshire 2 experience and it’s The Pythons defending hard. Nathan Wake and Calum Brock stand firm but an overthrown ball at a Python’s line out and Baildon move the ball wide to score in the corner, 5-3 on 8mins.
A cynical late and high tackle on Clough following a Python’s line out and Jed Carr drills the penalty to the home 10m line. Fotherby secures the ball and Will Butler powers for the line, is stopped by a choke tackle and The Pythons get a penalty and Baildon a yellow card. Captain Butler opts for the scrum, Tatlow picks up at 8 and drives over. 5-8 on 15 mins.
From the kick off Clough feeds Ed Challis, Sandy Dunlop and Fotherby who all make valuable yards. Pressure on the home 22 – a Pythons’ scrum and a text book moves gets the ball through hands to Joe Bentham who races into the corner from 30m. Clough adds the extras, 5-15 on 23 mins.
Jon Pickard and Nathan Wake drive the hard yards. Fotherby secures a loose ball and the ball moved at pace to Beagrie who times a perfect pass to Tatlow to charge in from 25m. Clough converts, 5-22 on 30 mins.
Clough takes the deep kick off and puts the home side back into their own half with his boot. A home penalty for holding onto the ball and The Pythons are back on their 10m line. Baildon advance and gain a penalty in front of the posts. The scrum is chosen and The Pythons win their ball and carry the ball forward with Tim Evans. Beagrie receives the ball in space but the ref calls a forward pass. Scrum Baildon on half way. The Pythons take against the head, Tatlow picks up at 8 gains 10m before releasing the supporting Clough to sprint over from 40m. Clough converts his own try 5 – 29 half time.
Both sides have chances early in the second half but resolute defending keeps the score board static. The dead lock is broken when Baildon tap the ball from their own line out on half way to their pacey 9 who eludes the Pythons’ defence to race under the posts. 12- 29 on 60 mins. Keen to re gain the initiative Butler leads by example charging through the home defence. With support from Matt Leach Baildon were defending their line hard. Wake just short, Dunlop short, Tatlow breaks through for his hat trick in the corner, 12 -34 on 65 mins.
Evans and Brock drive the home side back into their 22. Quick ball to both wings and the home side hold their line. Baildon clear from a line out to half way. A scrum from the line out which Baildon take and the home full back dances through from half way to score under the posts, 19 – 34 on 75 mins.
Baildon win a scrum at the kick off but fail to secure the ball. Clough, alert as ever, gathers the ball and races 25m to score. 19 – 39 full time. The Pythons lie 2nd in Yorkshire 2 behind Wath Upon Dearne on points difference.
After the game, Coach Dan Bird said,” “This performance was a statement of intent from the boys. The result is the reward of their hard work week in week out. There are 3 important strands to our work every week. Monday’s S&C at HG3 Fitness, video analysis, followed by 60 mins of skills focus which allows our understanding and performance within the game to grow.”
“This is a very special group of players whose thirst to learn and improve is relentless. They are continually pushing one another to be better, making selection is a real conundrum. Any one of the players who represented the club this weekend could step up into the 1st XV”, he added. “After promotion we were unsure what our goals were this year, content with taking it one game at a time. There is real belief that this squad is capable of another promotional season,” he concluded.