Harrogate notch third win on the spin

Harrogate's Mike Aspinall.
Harrogate's Mike Aspinall.

Harrogate made it three National Three North wins out of three on Saturday, beating Kendal 53-31 at home.

Discipline proved a key factor in an exciting, high-scoring game.

An early yellow card for Kendal flanker Matty Houghton led to Harrogate racing into a 21-0 lead. The score was 53-14 with ten minutes remaining when Harrogate’s Chris Wilson was sin-binned.

Kendal took full advantage and scored 17 points to make the final score 53-31

Pete Wackett had featured prominently in Harrogate’s opening attacks and, with Kendal down to 14 men, used the extra space brilliantly to score from an initial Rob Almond break.

Callum Irvine converted and, shortly afterwards, opened the visiting defence with a brilliant run to put Wackett in for his second converted try.

Yet another dazzling Irvine break followed and this time it was Almond who supported to score.

A loose Harrogate midfield pass, on their own 22 metre line, was then intercepted by veteran Kendal centre, Ian Voortman, who galloped through unopposed to score a try under the posts, converted by Chris Park.

Kendal’s second row Reece Tomlinson was the next visitor to the sin bin and a Harrogate penalty kick made the half time score 24-7.

Harrogate’s turbo-charged forwards delivered a stream of good ball from the restart with Max Lewis and Tim Heaton at the heart of everything.

Phil Wickham supported Heaton well for the first try of the half.

Kendal responded with their trademark driving mauls and veteran prop, Billy Coxon, drove through the home defence for a converted try.

A huge Irvine line kick put Harrogate back into the attack and, according to the match announcer, Heaton scored in the corner.

However, there was something of a cat fight in the bar after the game with Jimmy Browne claiming that he was the scorer.

As captain, Jimmy pulled rank and was awarded the try.

A big Mike Aspinall break was well supported by debutant winger, James Audsley-Beck, who continued the move and eventually gave Aspinall the scoring pass.

Shortly afterwards, he made another dazzling break to score an excellent first try for Harrogate.

Harrogate’s final try was very much a forward affair, sparked off by a powerful Heaton run.

The ball was quickly recycled and Jake Brady was on hand to finish the move.

Then came the Wilson sin binning and Kendal’s driving mauls immediately became even more effective.

Two grunting forward tries came from Richard Harryman and Garry Holmes but their final score came from an excellent midfield break by stand-off, Park, who converted his own try.

Harrogate: Almond, Denton, Dench, Wackett, Audsley-Beck, Irvine, Wickham, Metcalfe, Maycock, Browne, Harvey, Brady, Wilson, Heaton, Lewis, Aspinall, Seyres, Innes

Kendal: Mulholland, Postelwaite, Tompson, Voortman, Coulter, Park, Alderson, Cheshire, Green, Harryman, Hayton, Tomlinson, Houghton, Voke, Holmes, Musetti, Coxon, Greenwood