Harrogate Pythons travelled to Baildon determined to get back to winning ways after last week’s defeat to the league leaders. Baildon kicked off and Gate started with a bursting run up the middle by Matt Leach and a good line out steal by Ian Binns. Good ground was made by Max Sharp who offloaded to Hugh Tatlow who was stopped under the posts. Baildon were penalised and Ross Fallenstein opened Gate’s account with the penalty. 0-3 6 mins. From the restart Leach was harshly penalised for a dump tackle but the attempted penalty kick sailed wide. The Baildon winger was then well tackled by Ollie Wheatley, Luke Price-Gerrard was first to the breakdown and Baildon were penalised for holding on. Fallenstein kicked for the corner and good hands from the lineout led to Sharp scoring under the posts. Fallenstein added the extras. 0-10 14 mins. Gate decided to run from within their 22 at the restart and a crash ball to captain Dan Shortman was dropped and Baildon managed to recycle quickly to score in the corner. 5-10 15 mins. With Gate now running from everywhere, Hugh Tatlow had a powerful run down the wing then reappeared in the centres to be dragged down just short by a high tackle. Fallenstein increased the lead with the penalty. 5-13 24 mins. Next Baildon attacked wide and the winger appeared to have scored but was brought back for a foot in touch. Tatlow booted a long clearance which was run back by Baildon. Their centre ran through several half-hearted tackles and was stopped short only for Baildon to recycle quickly and put their winger over in the corner to make the half time score Baildon 12 Pythons 13.
After a good talking to at half time by coach Dan Bird Gate started the second half strongly by pushing Baildon off their scrum ball. Gate gained a number of penalties close to the Baildon line which led to Jon Pickard being held up over the line and Tatlow and Clarkson being stopped just short. With Baildon resisting the pressure a fracas broke out which led to the referee red carding Liam Kernoghan and a Baildon prop. Ivan Drane then took a quick tap penalty and was flattened by a Baildon defender who was not 10 metres back. Gate settled down again by going through phases with strong carries by Ram Ismail and Price-Gerrard. Ismail finally broke through the Baildon defence and offloaded to Tatlow to score. Fallenstein added the conversion. 12-20 60 mins. Then from the restart Baildon attacked wide again and the winger was put over by a scoring pass which looked forward. 19-20 62 mins. The Pythons then sent on Steve Beckett for his first Pythons appearance in several years. Unfortunately for Beckett Baildon were then forced into uncontested scrums following an injury to their remaining prop. Baildon were penalised and Fallenstein added another penalty. 19-23 65 mins. Price-Gerrard stripped the ball at the restart allowing Sam Gibbs to put Wheatley away for a run down the wing but he was knocked into touch by the Baildon full back. Sharp then broke out of defence and Fallenstein was stopped by another high tackle that this time led to a yellow card for the Baildon winger. Gate ran wide from the scrum and saw Drane and Gibbs both stopped short. The pressure finally counted when Price-Gerrard scampered over in the corner and Fallenstein added the conversion to make the final score Baildon 19 Pythons 30.
This was a good win for the Pythons who will be hoping for the return of several injured players for the long trip to Sheffield Medics next weekend.