Harrogate face test at wounded Kendal after lifeline victory

hsb  Sam Bottomley playing for Harrogate against Caldy.  (120414M1b)

hsb Sam Bottomley playing for Harrogate against Caldy. (120414M1b)

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THEY were thrown a lifeline on Saturday, now player-coach Mike Aspinall wants his side to be mentally tough for a potential banana skin tomorrow.

After three superb performances against the best teams in the league, Harrogate embark on a trip to already relegated Kendal (3pm ko).

Aspinall is staying wary of their opponents.

But with his men on a high after last Saturday’s 25-24 victory over Caldy, he’s confident they can return victorious.

See page 49 for a full report.

“When we went to training on Tuesday the first thing we talked about was getting the squad mentally tough for Saturday,” he said.

“Kendal are already down, it’s their last home game of the season. It’s possibly the most dangerous time to play them.

“But it’s a good mental test of the lads and we’ll go into it and prepare accordingly.”

Saturday’s National Two North victory certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.

With derby rivals Otley slipping to an eye-watering 90-5 defeat at Preston Grasshoppers, ’Gate used this misfortune to leap above them in the table on points difference.

Two successive victories against Kendal and Leicester Lions in eight days’ time will save their skins.

Aspinall praised his side for their efforts in another nervy finish at Claro Road on Saturday.

“The last three games we’ve played the best three sides in the league, drawn one, lost one by one point and then won one by one point,” he added.

“It’s been a great effort by the lads and they deserve a lot of credit for the way they’ve played.

“We’ve been on a hard run but I think we’ve been a bit unlucky not to get more out of it.

“On Saturday we got our just rewards.

“We’ve just got to keep pushing now, we’ve got two hard games coming up.”

Aspinall will miss tomorrow as he’s on Leeds Carnegie duty.

Luke Edwards comes into contention after an impressive season with the Georgians.

National Two North pld pts

Loughborough Students 28 112

Caldy 28 90

Hull RUFC 28 88

Preston Grasshoppers 28 87

Luctonians 28 84

Huddersfield 28 82

Westoe 28 79

Bromsgrove 28 74

Sheffield Tigers 28 68

Stockport 28 62

Hull Ionians 28 58

Leicester Lions 28 55

Harrogate 28 51

Otley 28 51

Nuneaton 28 46

Kendal 28 32