Title ambitions firmly on track for Nash’s ’Gate

hsb   Stu Norman playing for Harrogate against Huddersfield.  (130202M3b)
hsb Stu Norman playing for Harrogate against Huddersfield. (130202M3b)

The commitment of Harrogate’s players was praised by coach Gary Nash after his side thrashed Huddersfield Dragons to keep their North Division Two East title ambitions on track.

The Granby-based club were forced to arrange indoor training sessions during the past few weeks because of the bad weather, a move which paid off last weekend with a 7-2 victory.

Harrogate now face Leeds Gryphons on Saturday at Weetwood (1.30pm push back) as they look to build on their eight-point gap at the top of the table ahead of Lincoln Roses.

Against the Dragons Harrogate were understandably rusty but some incisive forward effectively ended the game by half time, with the home side leading 6-0.

Charles Edmondson scored the pick of the goals, producing a stunning reverse stick finish after a clever disguised pass from Graeme Bevington, with Simon Lockwood (4) and Russ Bowen also getting on the score sheet.

“The second half was disappointing but one of those halves you consign to Room 101 and forget about rather than analyse too much,” said coach Nash

“We face much tougher opposition on Saturday in Leeds who had a close encounter with second place Lincoln last week losing by the single goal, so the fight for the title starts here.

“We must travel with confidence and the belief that our league status has given us but realise that if we do not focus we can easily underperform like we did in the second half on Saturday,” he added.

Harrogate are waiting to hear on injured trio Bevington, Russell Bowen and Othon Sennett ahead of their visit to Leeds, but Nash is confident that the club’s strength in depth will help them cope with any absentees.

Meanwhile, ladies defender Cecilia Allen praised her team’s character after overcoming a sluggish pitch and slow start to record a 3-1 win over Deeside Ramblers.

Alison Wales was the hat-trick hero with three fine finishes, putting her side just eight points off the top of the league in fifth position.

“We have nine games left and are playing well. With a final big push and a bit of luck, I think the girls could surprise a few teams and put us in contention for winning the league,” said Allen.