Harrogate seeking Otley double away at Yorkshire foes

NADV 1203044 H'gate Rugby. (1203044AM2)
NADV 1203044 H'gate Rugby. (1203044AM2)

HARROGATE return to Cross Green for the first time in ten years tomorrow with Mike Aspinall’s troops hunting an Otley double (3pm ko).

The short trek west has already got the juices flowing at Claro Road as Harrogate target their second win in March.

The National Two North table is looking a little healthier for the club who have moved up to 12th,

Harrogate are six points clear of second-bottom Leicester Lions after three victories in their last four games.

Saturday’s 28-8 triumph over Hull Ionians was the latest positive result.

“We’ve already beaten Otley earlier in the season, to do the double over them would be a sweet moment,” said team manager Graham Siswick.

“They are currently third bottom. When we look back at the season this match could be seen as a key turning point.

“A lot of our players know their players and vice versa and a lot of our spectators will know theirs, so there’s some keen rivalry there.

“There will be a partisan support but we’ll just have to get a three-line whip together to get our supporters to the game.

“It’s not a big distance to travel, hopefully our supporters will travel down and get behind us.

After tomorrow, five games remain for Harrogate to confirm league safety.

They will have to navigate the next two games without Harrogate Grammar School pupil Callum Irvine, the fly half chosen to represent Scotland U-18s against Wales and Scotland.

Aspinall will also be missing tomorrow.

However Phil Wickham is set to come back at scrum half.

“It’s a great honour for Callum, everyone at the club is very proud of him,” added Siswick.

“He’s been at the club and risen up through the junior section and has got a great future.”

Siswick, meanwhile, was delighted with Saturday’s victory.

Centre Sam Bottomley scored Harrogate’s first try of the afternoon, with Aspinall converting.

A few more minutes of home pressure followed and also another converted Bottomley try made it 14-0.

Hull scrum half Adam Thomas forced his way through the defence to put the visitors on the score sheet.

But a Toby Quarendon score put ’Gate further in the lead.

A penalty for Hull just before the break made the score 21-8 at half-time.

In the second period, number 8 Ryan Peacey scored a try from close range and the stayed that way as Harrogate weathered a late storm to pull off another important victory.

The Georgians welcome Otley 2nds at home tomorrow (3pm).