Harrogate Pythons returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 32 0 victory at home to newly promoted Hemsworth. The Pythons were off the mark quickly with a solid scum followed by a midfield break by Jon Pickard. Hems scrambled clear but Max Sharp ran well from full back to link well with Matt Halpin who was stopped on the 22. Ian Binns won the line out, Ivan Drane carried well for Pickard to be stopped just short and Drane followed up to complete the try which he converted. 7-0 3 mins. A long clearance kick was misjudged by the Hems full back, but the ball just eluded Halpin who would have had a clear run to the try line. Gate then destroyed a Hems scrum which led to an attacking line on the 5m line, but this time Sandy Dunlop’s throw was ruled not straight. Hems remained a danger, intercepting a pass and braking 60m up the pitch. Gate were penalised at the breakdown but the attempted penalty was pulled wide. A break from the scrum from Hems powerful No8 was stopped on the line by a John Reah tackle and Drane cleared the danger. Dunlop stole the lineout and Hems were penalised for a high tackle on Jack Clarkson. Drane stroked over the penalty. 10 0 26 mins. Hems frustration then boiled over and their prop was yellow carded for an offense at the breakdown. Binns again provided ball off the top of the lineout and Drane chipped over the rushing Hems defence for Joe Bentham to kick over the line and touchdown to make the half time score Pythons 15 Hemsworth 0.
After wise words from Coach Dan Bird, Gate started the 2nd half strongly. Hems cleared long and Halpin ran back putting Sharp through a gap. Quick ball from the breakdown saw Bentham expose the blind side and put Ollie Wheatley over in the corner. Drane converted from the touchline. 22 0 42 mins. Gate’s line out was functioning perfectly as Dan Shortman provided clean ball but Gate knocked on in the resulting drive. The scrum was taken against the head and Reah was stopped just short but Rob Lunn picked up and muscled over for the bonus point try. 27 0 54 mins. Gate were now well on top and turnover ball produced by a big Shortman tackle saw a reverse pass from Gareth Drane and another Lunn charge, but Reah was dispossessed in the tackle. Full back Andy Quirk was causing chaos with his runs from deep but a series of Python's knock ons in crucial areas kept the score down. Gate eventually clicked again when the ball went wide from a scrum, Quirk broke the line and passed to Sharp who offloaded brilliantly for Jed Wolfram to score in the corner. 32 0 77 mins. Hems finished the game strongly and were camped on the Gate line but strong defence kept them to nil and left the final score Pythons 32 Hemsworth 0.
This was a much needed win for the Pythons who have another tough game next weekend when they travel to unbeaten Northallerton.