Harrogate Pythons travelled to Skipton with both sides needing to get back to winning ways. Skipton had early possession but strong defence from Gate forced Skipton to kick the ball away .An early break from Max Sharp was carried on by John Reah before a tip tackle on Jack Clarkson earned Gate a penalty. The attacking lineout was lost and Skipton cleared up field but a nice pick up from Dorian ENNEQUIN saw him put Ollie Wheatley away down the touchline before been tackled into touch. Ennequin briefly lest the field for a blood injury but Gate kept up the momentum with prop Nathan Wake taking a quick tap penalty. With Skipton retreating the ball went wide to Wheatley who crossed in the corner only to be pulled back for a foot in touch. Gate put the squeeze on the first Skipton scrum and earned a penalty which Steve Kirkpatrick converted. 0-3 12 mins. Clarkson again made a strong run from the kick off and Skipton were penalised for a high tackle but this time the attempt was pulled wide. Skipton were now creaking under immense pressure from big carries from Dan Shortman, Wake and Clarkson and Ennequin was smashed into touch by desperate Skipton defence. A crunching tackle by Liam Kernoghan led to turnover ball and Wheatley was again tackled into touch just short. Wake peeled round the lineout and was dragged down just short however quick ball saw Sharp offload to put Jonathon Pickard over. Sharp added the conversion. 0-10 34 mins. Gate pressed again from the restart and another Reah charge was illegally stopped by Skipton allowing Sharp to slot the penalty and make the half time score Skipton 0 Pythons 13.
Gate started the second half where they ended the first and strong carries from Hugh Tatlow and Steve Smith led to another penalty which Sharp converted. 0-16 43 mins. Clarkson ran through some tired tackling at the restart but his pass out wide flew into touch. Then a poor missed tackle in midfield put Skipton on the front foot and they recycled well to put their winger over. 7-16 54 mins. With Clarkson and Pickard leaving the field injured after this period of play Gate needed to respond well. Joe Bentham broke straight through the Skipton midfield but his kick ahead was well cleared by the Skipton full back. Another quick tap saw Bentham through again. He linked well with Sharp who put Wheatley over for the try. 7-21 66 mins. A Skipton player was then yellow carded for stamping and a certain Skipton try was stopped by a crunching tackle by Sharp on the line. Gate then broke out of defence and Tatlow was stopped under the posts the ball came out quick for Kernoghan to show the ball and canter over the line for the try and Sharp added the conversion to make the final score Skipton 7 Pythons 28.
This was a much better performance from the Pythons with the squad playing with skill and confidence. Next weekend the Pythons entertain Stocksbridge at Railway FC.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC