Pythons too good for Northallerton

Harrogate Pythons look for a way through the Northallerton defence during Saturday's Yorkshire Three clash
Harrogate Pythons look for a way through the Northallerton defence during Saturday's Yorkshire Three clash

Three first-half tries paved the way for Harrogate Pythons’ 24-3 victory at Northallerton in Yorkshire Three.

The visitors took an early lead and never looked back, grabbing two further touchdowns to race into a 16-point advantage before half-time.

The Pythons started in the most positive fashion, led by mighty drives up the middle from Nathan Wake, Hugh Tatlow and MattLeach.

After 10 phases, Ross Fallenstein put a delicate kick over the diminishing North defence and Ivan Drane won the race to touch down for a 5-0 lead after just two minutes.

North pressed back from the re-start and eventually Harrogate were penalised, allowing North a kick at goal to reduce the arrears to 5-3.

The visitors found themselves under territorial pressure from their hosts, but this was temporarily relieved by a great run from Gareth Bass, before a big hit from Tatlow forced a knock-on.

At the other end, another clever kick from Fallenstein was almost gathered by Joe Bentham, and from the resulting attacking scrum, Bentham crashed through the middle and a great offload by Leach put Sam Gibbs over in the corner.

Fallenstein added the conversion for 12-3 on 33 minutes.

The Pythons were now playing with great confidence and another precise kick from Fallenstein was gathered by Bentham who went over next to the posts.

Fallenstein again converted to make the half-time score 19-3 in favour of Harrogate.

The Pythons began the second period well and a curving run from Bass caused panic in the North defence.

This led to a line-out, which saw Jack Clarkson break through the hosts’ defensive line, only to be dragged down by the posts.

Steve Kirkpatrickthen picked out the rampaging Steve Smith who crashed over for a bonus-point try.

The remainder of the match saw North camped in the Pythons’ half, but they could not cross the visitors’ line due to some outstanding defensive work.