HARROGATE lost out 41-15 to Bromsgrove in the West Midlands on Saturday, in National Two North.
Harrogate started like a house on fire with waves of attacking rugby. It took Bromsgrove quarter of an hour to get into Harrogate’s half of the field where they promptly kicked a penalty goal. The penalty offence had also put Nick Beaumont into the sin bin for 10 minutes. Bromsgrove’s lead was very much against the run of play and Harrogate then went ahead when Ed Smithies created space for himself with an outrageous dummy and scored.
A straightforward penalty opportunity was then fluffed but further tries seemed inevitable.
That was as good as it got. Bromsgrove’s powerful pack gradually took complete control of the game and an avalanche of tries followed. The first one came from a steepling “up and under” which was missed just inside Harrogate’s half. Caolan Ryan showed great control in kicking on and scored to give Ben Copson a straightforward conversion.
Harrogate were still very much in the game at this stage but Toby Quarendon was unluckily penalised and another attacking move broke down. Just before the interval, Ryan Peacey was “binned” for preventing a try by coming in from the side and Copson’s kick gave Bromsgrove a 16-5 lead.
Bromsgrove took full advantage of Peacey’s absence at the start of the second half. A powerful driving maul led to a try and this was shortly followed by slick handling which resulted in an excellent left wing try for Toby Wilson, converted from the touchline by Copson.
Bromsgrove’s Warren Oliver was then penalised for a spear tackle and was probably lucky to escape with only a yellow card. Mike Aspinall kicked the penalty but Harrogate immediately went offside and Copson’s kick restored the gap.
Nigel Burrows, Bromsgrove’s powerful second row, then crashed through to score and secure their bonus point. Harrogate were still attacking with the tireless Tim Heaton at the heart of everything. Creative back play gave replacement winger, Noel Minikin, a little space and he danced through the home defence for a fine consolation try.
Bromsgrove: Curgenven, Ryan, Wilson, Critchlow, Oliver, Copson, Ward, Blackburn, Bee, Salisbury, Smith, Burrows, Warren, Morgan, Horton
Harrogate: Smithies, Ellison, Bottomley, Quarendon, Aspinall, Davies (Minikin 60), Wickham, Browne (Innes 50), Maycock (Nico 55), Fraser, J Brady (Wilson 66), S Brady (Spencer 60), Heaton, Beaumont, Peacey.
Referee: Alexis Manley (RFU)