Harrogate Hens have huge win over local rivals West Park II
By Lucy Barnett
The newly formed Ladies development team put 52 points past neighbouring West Park.
The Harrogate Hens are still in the early days of their formation but continued their flying start with ease on Saturday at the Stratstone Stadium.
The Harrogate Ladies development squad took on local Leeds team, West Park Ladies II who currently contend in the National Challenge North 2 East league. The team’s 52-24 point win over a team with such league experience is an exciting prospect for the Club, as it points to the prospect of the Hens’ entrance into a League next season to be highly promising.
Harrogate’s first try was immediate as Olivia Almond plucked the ball out of the air before running in the ball and leaving the opposing defense in dismay. She scored between the sticks, Captain Ailish Clear converted to start the scores at 7-0.
Following this West Park fought back, their full back put a try saving tackle in on Harrogate back, Roisin McCulloch. However prop Ciara Mullane then put a halt to the West Park attack by applying the pressure thick and fast.
Clear then took advantage of her opposition’s sloppy passing and ran it in between the sticks. She converted her own try, 14-0.
In reply to the restart, West Park made their mark. Their blindside flanker made an impact by powering through to the try line. Her teammate booted over the extras to make the score 14-7.
In response Clear crossed the Whitewash again as she dragged the West Park defence down with her, but denied them the chance to hold her up.
West Park replied once again with a second try despite McCulloch’s efforts in defence. West Park were catching the home side up, 19-12.
After the restart McCulloch won the ball back and shipped it out to youngster, Niamh Frost who made the ground before passing out to Emma Winstanley. Winstanley outpaced West Park’s scrumhalf to score, increasing the points difference for her side.
Following a penalty, West Park managed to put another one past Harrogate’s defence and bring their score up, it was 29-19 as the match ventured into the last 20 minutes.
Harrogate scored from the kick off once again. Mullane received the kick well before passing the ball out to Clear who both scored and converted. This try was followed by another for Harrogate, the team try was polished off by Frost. Clear added the extras.
West Park scored again after an episode of strong running which took Harrogate by surprise but it was still 43-24 to the hosts.
Winstanley showed off her stepping skills, again from the restart and scored another. There was still time for Tash Duggan to follow suit. After a series of handoffs before Sheree collected and scored the last try of the match for herself.
The full time score was 52-24 to Harrogate.