Harrogate Pythons hosted Knottingley in this Yorkshire Vase clash at Station View. With many regulars missing due to injury and international week, Coach Dan Bird used the opportunity to cast an eye over a number of 2nd team players. Knottingley kicked deep and Gate tried to run phases from inside their own 22, until the ball was spilled forward. Knottingley then ran a couple of their own phases before their No8 broke through to score by the posts. 0-7 2 mins. Debutant Steve Lennox was then crunched in midfield and a Knottingley kick was well dealt with by Owen Carter. From a scrum on the Gate 10 meter line the Knottingley scrum half switched the direction of the attack and created a simple overlap for the Knottingley winger to cruise over in the corner. 0-14 10 mins. A strong Gate scrum led to a break from Ned Rutty but he was knocked into touch just short. Ian Binns won good attacking line pot for Gate but Knottingley didn’t engage in the maul and Gate were penalised for obstruction. A big tackle from full back Matt Halpin prevented another score, but a clean break from the Knottingley center saw him link with the No8 who scored under the posts. 0-21 26 mins. Gate were penalised at the restart and Knottingley went for the points. The ball struck the posts and bounced kindly for their lock to gather and power over in the corner. 0-26 31 mins. More good work from Carter led to an attacking Gate penalty. Mike Ruthen led the charge but was held up just short. The resulting maul saw Steve Smith penalised for running into his own man and the referee brought a frustrating half to an end.
Gate started the 2nd half strongly with some strong carries by Nathan Wake and Lennox. Andy Mackay kept Knottingley on the back foot with a series of probing kicks and a memorable dummy by Ruther saw him put Halpin away who was caught by the cover defence. A good switch move between Mackay and Joe Bentham saw Bentham stopped under the posts and a Gate penalty. Gate elected to scrum and Rutty was stopped just short. A quick tap from Rutty saw him stopped again, this time illegally. Again Gate took the scrum, this time driving Knottingley over the line for Ruthen to touch down. Mackay added the extras 7-26 60 mins. Dorian ENNEQUIN then put Mackay away down the blindside, Jonathan Pickard picked up and was stopped on the line. Again the Gate pack drove Knottingley over the line for Dan Bird to touch down. Extras again added by Mackay. 14-26 65 mins. Knottingley began to tire, but despite pressing for the remainder of the match there was no way through for Gate and the referee brought the game to an end. Final score Pythons 14 Knottingley 26.
Next week the Pythons travel to Leeds Modernians and will be looking to consolidate their position of 2nd in Yorkshire 3.