Harrogate vs Vale of Lune
By Peter Kitching
This result almost certainly ensures Vale’s relegation. Harrogate scored their bonus point winning fourth try in the tenth minute and the half time score was 43-7.
However, the Vale heads never went down and they competed strongly after the interval. Harrogate didn’t score again for another twenty minutes but then the floodgates opened again and they ran out comfortable winners.
An early Oli Rosillo break from deep was taken on by Andrew Lawson whose 50 metres run cut through Vale’s defence for a try converted by Nathan Wyman. From the restart, an excellent Sam Fox take led the ball being spun along the line for Lawson’s second converted try after 10 minutes. Both Harrogate second rows, Sam Brady and Andy Boyde, then combined to carve a hole in the visiting defence and Harry Barnard took a pass at pace to sprint clear for the 3rd try. Jonny Coser then broke clear from a driving maul and Danny Matthews took the scoring pass for a converted try and a bonus point.
Another Boyde break led to the next try and flanker, Martin Dodds was in support and his 30 metres run out paced the defence for the fifth try. The Harrogate backs were then penalised for crossing and the kick led to a Vale attacking line-out. The ball was spread and centre, Ben Dorrington broke through for a try converted by Alex Briggs. Vale were then penalised for coming in at the side at a Harrogate driving maul and second row, Adam Foxcroft was sent to the sin bin. Harrogate opted for a scrum and Mathews’s pass put Barnard away for his second try. Constructive Harrogate attacks followed a Luke Riddell break but there was one pass too many (which should have earned the brown ale award) and Vale had a defensive scrum. More Harrogate attacks followed and a quickly taken penalty led to Barnard’s hat trick try. This ended the first half scoring but, in the dying moments of the half, a Dorrington high tackle was yellow carded.
Harrogate knocked on from Vale’s restart kick and this set the pattern for a twenty minutes even period of play where Harrogate’s defence was tested. Lawson then broke a tackle and an interchange of passes between him and Riddell led to Harrogate’s next try. A Vale high tackle was penalised and the kick won an attacking line-out, a Hugo Tasker break and a converted try from the supporting Charley-Purkiss-McEndoo. Another Barnard break was illegally halted and Vale’s third yellow card went to Alfie Bolton. The ball was spread from the subsequent penalty and Rosillo squeezed in at the corner. The touchline conversion made it 62-7. Wyman then gathered a Lawson chip at pace to score and kick yet another touchline conversion.
Another Harrogate restart knock-on led to a scoring run through poor tackling from Vale No8, Sam Wallbank. Brigg’s conversion ended the match.
Harrogate: Rosillo, Barnard, Wyman, Riddell, Lawson, Fox, Matthews, Driscoll, Yorke, Ward, Boyde, Brady, Dodds,Tasker, Coser. Subs:- Purkiss-McEndoo, Maycock, Heaton
Vale of Lune: Ramwell, Starkey, Robertson, Dorrington, Ferm, Briggs, Power, Stevens, Hodgson, Pillow, Foxcroft, Ford, Spavin, Field Wallbank. Subs:- Griffiths, Bolton
Referee: Nathan Howard (Northern Division)
Match report by Bill Barrack