Aireborough24 v Harrogate Pythons 14
Pythons return from Aireborough empty handed
Harrogate Pythons made the short trip to Aireborough with a reasonable looking squad but without their Coach Dan Bird. Aire kicked off deep and Gareth Drane responded with a good exit clearance. Joe Bentham was tackled in midfield and Aire’s flanker was penalised for sealing the ball at the ruck. Ivan Drane elected to kick for goal but his effort came back off the post and Aire cleared their lines. Dan Shortman secured good ball from the lineout and Gareth Drane put a lovely grubber kick though to the line but was taken out by a trip allowing Aire to touch down behind their own line, Aire however applied the pressure at the scrum and Gate were penalised. Another penalty conceded by Gate saw Aire setup a driving maul and their big pack rolled over for a try in the corner. 5-0 10 mins. A big tackle in midfield by Ivan Drane gained Gate possession in a loose field. The ball went wide to Ollie Wheatley who beat is man on the outside and quick ball arrived to Nathan Wake who appeared to crash over under the posts but the referee ruled he was tackled just short and held. Another great break by Wheatley saw him finally knocked into touch however Hugh Tatlow won the line out and Wheatley picked up a pass on his bootlaces to scorch over in the corner. Ivan Drane added the extras. 5-7 33 mins. Aire pressed from the restart but a storming run from his 22 from Rob Lunn allowed Iven Drane the space to clear his lines. The half ended with Gate in command and Ivan Drane narrowly missing two penalties to leave the half time score Aire 5 Pythons 7.
Gate were forced into changes at half time, with Wake breaking ribs in his try scoring attempt so Matt Leach stepped up to prop. The changes were yet to bed in as Aire showed Gate off their first scrum ball. Another good touch find by Gareth Drane gained good ground but Lunn was penalised for pulling the lineout jumper down. Gate again conceded a penalty in midfield and Aire went for the lineout, securing the lead with another driving maul from the resulting lineout. 12-7 60 mins.Then disaster for the Pythons as they regained possession from the kick off and span the ball wide. However the wide pass was anticipated by the Aire centre who intercepted and went half the length of the pitch to score under the posts. 19-7 61 mins. Gate responded well with another flowing move seeing Wheatley over in the corner but the referee pulled it back for a forward pass. Next Bentham made a charging run and appeared to carry half the Aire pack to the line with him, but was ruled held up. Aire pressed again and Ivan Drane dummied a clearance kick in his 22 and sliced straight through the Aire line. He offloaded to Max Sharp on his shoulder who drew the Aire full back and put Wheatley away. The Aire winger got across to make a head high tackle on Wheatley leaving the referee no option but to award a penalty try. 19-14 74 mins. Gate now needed a converted try for victory but it was Aire who had the last word. Gate were penalised for offside and Aire went for the lineout, Despite the throw not being straight, Aire developed another driving maul to rumble over the line to make the final score Aire 24 Pythons 14.
This was a disappointing result for the Pythons and a game they knew they should have won. Next weekend the Pythons entertain Hemsworth at Harrogate Railway FC.
The Pirates has an excellent 53-5 win at home to Leo’s 3rds with Cal (4), Chris Guy (2), Ruthe and Luke Price-Gerrard scoring the tries.