Scunthorpe were still without Eddie Newsum, Paul Cook and Olly Wood but welcomed Danny Vannet for only his second start of the season.
The game kicked-off in atrocious conditions, on a heavy wet surface not conducive to an open handling game. The Greens we first out of the traps and Steve Johnson put them ahead with a penalty after only 4 minutes. With both sets of forwards evenly matched, it was a case of which defence would crack first. The North Yorkshire boys gained a foothold in the home ‘22’ and with close driving play managed to get second row Jack Bradley over for a try in the 24th minute. The conversion was missed but the visitors were now ahead on the scoreboard. It took the home boys only two minutes to respond when James Dyson was the beneficiary of a strong driving maul to cross for the try. Johnson could not add the extras but The Greens were now in front by 8 points to 5.
Danny Mathews, the visitors scrum-half, displayed some good box kicking skills which suited the conditions and kept his team going forward. When the home team responded, the kick was too long and the chase not up to standard. From one such wayward kick, The Gate ran the ball back through winger Harry Barnard who went in, untouched from half-way. Doherty added the extras and The Gate were ahead, on the half-hour, by 12 points to 8. Due to a long injury delay to visiting prop, Connor Ward, the game was well into first half added time when Scunthorpe had a scrummage five metres from the opposition line from where Jake Barron drove over for a try. Johnson added the conversion and The Greens went into the interval with a 15 points to 12 lead.
From the start of the second period, Harrogate establish a position in the home ‘22’ and gained a succession of penalties from which they were able to hold territory. Doherty put them level with a strike after 7 minutes of the second half and then then went ahead with another Doherty penalty 7 minutes later, to give them the lead. As penalties continued against the home boys, he had a further opportunity after 18 minutes but to the relief of the home support his kick failed.
Scunthorpe gradually managed to establish a foothold in the Gate ‘22’ as the penalty count went in the other direction. They battered the visitor’s line almost continuously in the closing minutes and Harrogate had a man sent to the bin. With a kick in front of the posts and the final whistle fast approaching, a decision had to be made as to weather to take a kick at goal and settle for a draw, or take the brave option and go for the win. The later decision was taken and success was not achieved, so the result was victory for the visitors and only one bonus point for The Greens with a final score of 18 points to 15.
They must now gear up for a difficult trip to old rivals Hinckley and hope that some of the injured and walking wounded will be able to play.
Match Report by LWJClayton