Aireborough 38 v Harrogate Pythons 46
Pythons have edge in thriller
Gate kicked off and started the livelier trying to move the hosts larger pack around the field, pressure lead to an early kickable penalty in the 3rd minute but the Pythons set out their stall by kicking for the corner. Nothing came from the resulting line out but the Pythons continued to play at a high tempo. A pen midfield saw Zippy tap and go making a great break, with only the full back to beat and little support he chipped but with a short dead ball line the ball ran out. Airborough played up field with some good handling of their own, with good ball at the line out they kept the ball with a series of pick and drives resulting in their 2nd row crashing over to open the scoring, 7 – 0.
Gate continued to move the ball wide but poor handling let them down until an AB kick up field on 21 mins was collected and ran back. The ball was moved wide to Ned Rutty who ran 50 meters beating several defenders to score in the corner. 7 – 7. From the restart Air B collected the ball and worked up field, poor tackling allowed a score in the corner. 14 – 7. The Pythons looking the better side but with little to show for their efforts were making ground with good driving runs from the pack presenting good fast ball which Zippy delivered with pin point accuracy to the backs. Close to the line AB defence could not recover quick enough and Zippy slipped through a gap to level the scoring. 14 – 14. On 32 mins Gate took a quick line out but from the resulting pressure AB turned over the ball and ran it wide to score again. 21 – 14. With no side dominating it was the Pythons turn to score in this see-saw game. On 34 mins, good line out ball from Hugh Tatlow was moved wide for Ned Rutty to again show his pace to beat 2 defenders to score. 21 – 19. With half time, approaching AB were awarded a pen and their kicker who had not missed a kick converted to extend their lead at the break 24 – 19.
Gate again started the second period the livelier again moving the ball wide, a break by Joe Bentham released Ollie Wheatley who was stopped short, from the resulting scrum Gate were awarded a pen as they were now dominating the scrum they elected to scrum again. Going for the push over but stopped short Hugh Tetlow picked up and dived over for Gate to take the lead for the first time. 24 – 26.
The Pythons now in full flow were running the ball from everywhere and following good fast ball from the pack it was moved wide for Jake Harland to score in the corner with his first touch of the ball. 24 – 31. Further drives from the pack and quick hands allowed Tom Everingham to crash over from short range to extend the lead. 24 – 36. With Jed Rutty now at 9 he snipped at the breakdown and from the resulting ruck Ram crossed the line to score on his debut 24 – 43.
Just when we thought the game was over as a contest the hosts upped their game and started a series of pick and drives, creating an overlap they moved the ball to their speedy winger who scored in the corner. 31 – 43. Pythons continued in the same vain, a half break from Liam K opened the defence, he popped to Joe Bentham who burst under the posts. 31 – 48. Gate were dominating the scrum and line out and missed a few further chances to score but the very resilient home side never gave up and again ran the ball wide for a late score 38 – 48. With seconds left on the clock AB were awarded a pen and their kicker elected to go for posts to secure a well-deserved bonus point but for the first time the kick went wide.
Despite a few errors in the first half a very good performance maintaining the excellent start to the season.