Harrogate Pirates attracted a large crowd to Station View despite the freezing conditions for this merit table game against old rivals Leos 2nds. Playing down the slope with the breeze behind them the Pirates started off like a house on fire with tries from Ollie Davies, Matt Audsley and Andy McKay who appeared to be running down a dark alley but threw the most outrageous dummy to amble over in the corner. Audsley added a conversion to give Pirates a 17-0 lead after only 12 minutes. With the pack dominating the scrum through front rewire Michal Klemek, Stevie Beckett and Ben Kernoghan and Neil Douglas and Ryan Bradshaw winning good line out ball further scores seemed certain but it was Leos who scored a converted try next following a well-executed catch and drive from a line out. The Pirates added to their lead when Zippy darted over following a good scrum drive by the Pirates, converted by Audsley. 24-7 30 mins. Good work from Kris Starkey and Rich Paterson resulted in a ruck just short of the Leo’s line and Steven Lennox picked up and crashed over to make the half time score Pirates 29 Leo’s 7.
The Pirates made several substitutions at half time but continued with the same momentum. The lead was increased on 50 minutes following a run by Cal Mackinnon and a Joe Craig drive saw Kris Starkey drive over for the try. Some sloppy defence from the Pirates saw Leo’s hit back straight from the restart with a converted try to make the score 34-14. Some lovely interplay between forwards and backs saw Bradshaw force his way over and Audsley added the extras. Again Leo’s responded with a well worked try making it 41 19 to the Pirates. Leo’s were now enjoying their best spell of the game to cross for another try which was cancelled out straight away by a Sean Glasswell try and Audsley conversion to make it 48 26 to the Pirates. Some panic defence by the Pirates led to a clearance kick from behind their own line which went straight to the Leo’s winger who ambled over for the softest of tries. The Pirates responded when good work by Richard Vass and drives from Lennox and Bradshaw led to a 3 man overlap for Tom Hunter to score the final try, converted by Audsley to make the final score Pirates 55 Leos 38.
This was a brilliant attacking performance by the Pirates who kept the crowd entertained all afternoon. Captain Ollie Davies will however have some strong words about some of the weak defensive play.