Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV – Bradford & Bingley RFC 1st XV

February 17, 2024 2:15 pm22:19The Jim Saynor Ground, Station View, Harrogate, HG2 7JA
Started on February 17, 2024

Pythons record much needed win

Harrogate Pythons were deserved winners against Bradford & Bingley at The JSG, 22-19 gaining 4 league points with just 5 games left in the season.

The Pythons began the game showing determination with some powerful runs from George Booth and Hugh Tatlow.  Half backs Jed Carr and Tommy Carswell took play into The Bees 22 when a deliberate knock on gave Carr 3 points and The Bees a yellow card, 2 mins.

Quick to respond the away team spun the ball wide from a line out, 3-7 after 5mins.  Will Butler led the next series of phase play out of defence driving hard through the middle. Carswell feeds Tim Evans who typically beaks tackles as he sprints up field, passes to the supporting Luke Price-Gerrard who ships the ball straight to Max Sharp gaining several yards before feeding Tom Stabler-Langan to race in from half way, 8-7.  The Bees defence is tested several times before the ref blows for half time.

The Bees are penalised desperately defending a breakdown on half way.  Carr takes a quick one, runs 10m and feeds Tatlow who sprints 40m round the defence to score in the corner.  Carr adds the extras, 15-7.

Herbie Milton links well with Max Sharp to set up an attacking scrum on The Bees 10m line.  Ed Challis picks up at number 8, feeds Saul Adshead who delivers the perfect pass to Nick Bell who steps one defender, dummies the last one and scores in the corner.  Carr lands a superb conversion from the touchline, 22-7.

The Bees show their experience from higher leagues and re build on The Pythons 22.  A catch and drive from a line out and the referee awards a penalty try for collapsing the maul and a yellow card to The Pythons, 22-14.  Minutes later The Bees cross the line again 22-19.  The Pythons defence holds with The Whittaker’s Gin player of the match, Price-Gerrard  winning the last turn over for Carr to kick the ball dead, full time.

With Dan Bird on a family break Coach Roy MacKay said,  “And breathe,  after an epic tussle The Pythons recorded their first win of ‘24. The team went about their business with intent and besides an early penalty we could have scored a few tries. However, in this league there are no easy games and Bees quickly responded to go 7-3 in front. We felt that as long as we played to a structure, kept up the coms and discipline we would finally break them down. This proved to be the case with 3 really good tries, at 22-7 the game should have been done but the gods of rugby had other ideas. In the space of 5 mins the score went to 22-19. What really impressed me was the team defence, the last 4minutes which lasted 6 mins was a great example of application, patience and discipline, even more so with 14 men having had a sin bin. I felt we deserved the win and all 18 players are to be praised for putting in a great shift, players have made huge sacrifices over the season and no more so than on Saturday looking at the amount of tape used to stick them together before and during the game. This win must not be taken in isolation but a start of a strong run in to finish the season with lots to play for”

The Pythons face Old Rishworthian at The JSG on Saturday 24th, kick off 2.15pm.

Other matches in this round