Lymm vs Harrogate
By Peter Kitching
Despite difficulties in understanding the referee’s interpretation of tackle laws, Harrogate were comfortable winners today.
At one end of the scale, they had the vast experience of players like David Doherty and Andy Boyde while, at the other, there was the precocious youthful talent of Hugo Tasker and Harry Yates. This kept them in control against a dogged Lymm side who competed strongly throughout the match.
Steepling early Lymm kicks were well taken under pressure by Doherty and Andrew Lawson and Harrogate mounted sustained attacks. However, they conceded a breakdown penalty and Tom Sharp’s kick put Lymm 3 points ahead. Belying his years, a searing Doherty break turned defence into attack and led to an attacking scrum. Quick ball was spread to Lawson to give him enough space to sprint clear and open Harrogate’s account. This lead was short lived as they were soon penalised for holding and another Sharp penalty made it 6-5.
Sam Brady then burst powerfully through Lymm’s central defence forcing it to go offside. The penalty led to an attacking line-out and a well controlled driving maul from which Charley Purkiss-McEndoo scored and Nathan Wyman’s conversion made it 6-12. An adjudged Harrogate high tackle then resulted in a Lymm attacking line-out but Steve Maycock stole possession at the tail and the ball was cleared. Boyde then intercepted an attempted Lymm attack and, with an exquisitely timed pass, put Danny Matthews into space for a 25 metres converted try to make the half time score 6-19.
Early in the second half, play was help up for 12 minutes when a Lymm player collided with Doherty and had to leave the field with a nasty shoulder injury. A Lymm attack was then checked but Harrogate were penalised and the kick made it 9-19. Yates had now come off the Harrogate substitutes bench and made an early impression with a defence splitting break.
Harrogate continued to have problems with the referee’s interpretation of the tackle laws but Tasker broke strongly from defence and the move was carried on by fellow teenager, Yates. His blinding pace took him clear without a hand being laid on him and Wyman’s conversion made the final score 9-26
Lymm: Sharp, Richards, Kimber, Stansfield, Senior, T Bray, Davies, Woods, A Bray, Widdrington, Rasheed, Connelly, Pitcher, Ashay, Watson. Subs:- Ashton, Johnson, Redfern
Harrogate: Doherty, Barnard, Wyman, Edwards, Lawson, Cookland, Matthews, Purkiss-McEndoo, Maycock, Ward, Boyde, Brady, Millington, Dodds, Tasker. Subs:- Yorke, Watts, Yates
Referee: Tom Doig (Northern)
Match report by Bill Barrack