Harrogate Pythons 50 v Knottingley 7
Pythons end the season in style
With the Pythons unable to use their home pitch at Pennypot, their final home game of the season was played at Ripon RUFC. From the start the Gate scrum was totally dominant, forcing Knottingley to play off the back foot and their powerful No8 was well contained by Hugh Tatlow. A lovely line from full back Jake Harland created the space foe winger Ollie Wheatley to open the scoring with a try out wide. 5-0 6 mins. Ivan Drane then made a break from a midfield scrum, but his inside pass was dropped. Knottingley kicked clear to Gareth Bass who put in a return kick and chase and a lovely bounce saw him collect his own kick to score under the posts. Converted by Drane. 12-0 12 mins. Gate were now getting good ball with Matt Leach and Rob Lunn making powerful surges, but often kicked the ball away aimlessly. A clever kick through by Drane was touched down by Harland but the referee ruled it had just gone dead. Knottingley were now getting back into the game and linked well between forwards and backs to be met by ferocious Gate defense led by captain Dan Shortman. However following a quick tap penalty Knottingley forced a try to make the half time score Pythons 12 Knottingley 7.
Knottingley were penalized on the restart and a good touch find by Drane gave Gate an attacking line. Tatlow took a clean catch but the drive was ended when the ball was dropped. However Gate turned over the resulting scrum and a well-timed pass from Drane put Tatlow through to score under the posts. Converted by Drane. 19-7 45 mins. Nathan Wake made a powerful run from the restart as Gate worked their way forward again. Liam Kernoghan robbed a Knottingley maul and the resulting ball was deliberately knocked forward by the Knottingly prop resulting in 10 minutes in the sinbin and uncontested scrums. Gate took a quick tap and John Reah sold him trademark dummy to score by the posts, again converted by Drane. 26-7 62 mins. Next it was Lunn’s turn to make the forward drive, with the ball being well carried on by Jed Wolfram and Max Sharp. Quick ball and a lovely pass from Sharp put Kernoghan through for the try converted by Drane. 33-7 70 mins. Wake then touched down following good interplay by the forwards, but the referee had spotted a forward pass. Knottingley cleared their ground but the kick was well returned by Jon Pickard and quick ball was fired wide for Bass to add his second try. 38-5 73 mins. It was now one way traffic, and Pickard again started a move from deep which saw flanker Andy Lambert score in the corner. 43-5 76 mins. Gate’s final try came when Bass again chased down a kick and robbed his opposite number. He flicked the ball onto the supporting Kernoghan who scored by the posts. Drane again converted to make the final score Pythons 50 Knottingley 7.
This was a strong end to the season by the Pythons who ended up in 11th place in Yorkshire 3 and collected 55 points, their most in this division. Good luck to Halifax Vandals and Goole who both secured promotion to Yorkshire 2. Many thanks again to Ripon RUFC for the use of their facilities.