Harrogate Pythons 5 v Thornensians 0
Pythons remain top following thrilling victory over Thorne
Harrogate Pythons consolidated their position at the top of Yorkshire 3 with a thrilling victory at home to third placed Thornensians. Thorne started proceedings and the kick off was well taken by Tom Everingham. The first scrum saw front row Nathan Wake, Dan Shortman and Steve Smith put pressure on their opposite numbers and set the standard for the afternoon. The ball squirted out of the retreating Thorne scrum and Jon Pickard claimed the loose ball but his flick up was knocked on. A cross kick from Tom Breakwell was retrieved by Ivan Drane but his grubber kick was just too long. Max Sharp then intercepted in midfield but was pulled back for offside. Ross Fallenstein put in a big clearance kick and Luke Price-Gerrard pinched the Thorne lineout ball. Breakwell threw a lovely pass which put Sharp through a gap. He drew the full back and put Drane away on the outside who scampered away to open the scoring. 5-0 10 mins. From the restart another precision pass from Breakwell put Drane away again but Gate were penalised at the breakdown. Drane was now causing all sorts of problems for Thorne and his clever kick though was just touched town by the Thorne full back. Thorne were penalised for taking out Gate scrum Half Andy Mackay at a ruck but Breakwell’s long distance penalty attempt fell below the bar. Ian Binns forced another Gate turnover and Kris Starkey broke from the scrum. However Thorne forced the penalty as Starkey was penalised for holding on. Joe Bentham then broke in midfield and kicked ahead. Price-Gerrard was first to the breakdown and forced another turnover but with space out wide Breakwell’s pass was ruled forward to leave the half time score Pythons 5 Thorne 0.
Gate started the second half in strong fashion with Everingham winning turnover ball and Fallenstein making a break down the blind side before being bungled into touch. Shortman claimed a loose ball on the ground and Bentham made good ground before strong defence forced a knock on from Wake. Big Gate pressure at the scrum forced Thorne into a hurried clearance but Wake had to leave the field injured. Replacement Jack O’Hara kept up the scrum pressure but strong Thorne defence constantly kept Gate out. A Thorne clearance kick was superbly kept in play by Drane and Fallenstein made good yardage leading to another long range penalty attempt by Breakwell which again fell agonisingly under the bar. Steve Lennox took a great take at the restart and Drane was hammered collecting a Thorne clearance kick. Strong work from Pickard and Matt Leach set up attacking ball 5 metres out but O’Hara was caught in possession. Thorne worked up field and a series of 5 metre scrums were repelled by the Gate pack. Thorne set up a driving maul, and Dan Bird stole the ball but a fracas broke out resulting in a red card for Thorne and yellows for Sharp and O’Hara. Thorne were now camped on the Gate line and another driving maul from a 5 metre line was penalized when a Thorne player ran into his own man. Another driving maul was stopped short and Thorne went wide. With a big overlap outside the Thorne centre went for the line and was stopped just short. The referee had seen enough and brought the game to a finish with the final score Pythons 5 Thornensians 0.
This was a massive result for the Pythons who will be looking to reduce the penalty count when they visit Skipton next Saturday.