Rugby Union: Sedgley Park 57 Harrogate 15

Harrogate's Steve Parsons. Photo by Richard Bown
Harrogate's Steve Parsons. Photo by Richard Bown

Harrogate were felled 57-15 at Sedgley Park on Saturday, as basic mistakes gifted the hosts a dream start on which to build a comprehensive win.

A Harrogate midfield knock-on almost gave Park their first score and led to a 22 drop out restart.

This was kicked straight into touch and Park opted for a scrum.

Their powerful No8 Matt Lamprey picked up at the base and drove through ineffective tackling to score under the posts.

Steve Collins added the conversion and soon followed this with a penalty goal when Harrogate went offside.

Harrogate tried to get back into the game with powerful drives from captain, Jake Brady supported by strong running from No8 Tim Heaton and centre, Kyle Dench.

Sedgley went offside and Joe Rowntree’s penalty opened the visitors’ account.

A Harrogate penalty kick then missed touch and Park mounted another attack from deep.

Hooker Johnny Matthews supported well and crashed over to score.

Park then stole a Harrogate line-out and stand-off, Steve Collins made a dazzling midfield break from which flanker Jonny Bishop scored a converted try.

Stung by these reverses, Harrogate then took a strike against the head but were inexplicably penalised.

The subsequent line-out led to a Park driving maul and Matthews’ second converted try.

Harrogate then moved Rowntree to stand-off and their backs began to play more cohesively.

Sam Bottomley had played outstandingly in defence and, when given a sniff of an opportunity to attack, showed strength and pace to score a fine individual converted try just before the break.

Harrogate went on the offensive from the restart and a Chris Wilson break split the home defence before the move broke down.

Nathan Smith foraged well on the ground to set up more forward drives but it was Park who next scored when Harrogate failed to deal with another powerful Lamprey run.

The inspirational Brady spurred Harrogate on and was at the heart of a driving maul from which he scored what proved to be Harrogate’s final points.

Two more Park converted tries followed from flanker Juan Crous and replacement hooker Liam West.

However, Harrogate gave a much improved performance in the second half and played some good attacking rugby. Replacement scrum half, Phil Wickham added pace to the game and Rob Adair also came on to impress with his attacking and ball winning skills.

Steve Parsons had limited attacking opportunities but defended well throughout the game.

Sedgley Park: Holloway, Harrison (Leader 60), A Riley, M Riley, El Mahdi, Collins, McShane (Urmston 40), Ashcroft, J Matthews (West 60), Hymes, McGowan (Emerson 40), Crous, Bishop, Lamprey.

Harrogate: Rowntree, Parsons, Dench, Bottomley, Edwards (Audsley-Beck 64), Irvine, D Matthews (Wickham 50), Metcalfe (Dutton 57), Yorke, Browne (Metcalfe Injury), Brady,

Wilson (Dewsnip 57), Smith (Adair 57), N Minikin, Heaton