Pythons bounce back with fine away triumph at Baildon
Harrogate Pythons bounced back from their late defeat to league leaders Rotherham Phoenix last time out when they triumphed on the road at Baildon.
Dan Bird’s side began Saturday’s Yorkshire Three clash positively, Max Sharp making good ground before offloading to Hugh Tatlow, who was stopped just in front of the posts.
Baildon were then penalised and Ross Fallenstein kicked ‘Gate into a 3-0 lead with six minutes on the clock.
The hosts missed a kick at goal of their own soon afterwards, and things went from bad to worse when they fell foul of the referee once again, this time for holding on.
Fallenstein kicked for the corner and good hands following the resulting line-out led to a try for Sharp.
Fallenstein added the extras to hand the Pythons a 10-0 lead with less than a quarter of an hour gone.
The visitors decided to run from within their own 22 from the re-start and a crash ball to captain Dan Shortman was dropped, allowing Baildon to recycle quickly and score in the corner.
Undeterred, ‘Gate continued to attempt to run the ball all over the pitch.
Tatlow made a powerful burst down the wing then re-appeared in the centres to be dragged down just short of the whitewash by a high tackle.
Fallenstein increased the away advantage by kicking the resulting penalty for 13-5 in the 24th minute.
Baildon looked like they had trimmed the gap once more with a score out wide, but play was brought back for a foot in touch.
The hosts did however manage to get over the Pythons’ line before half-time, meaning the visitors took a slender 13-12 lead into the interval.
‘Gate started the second half strongly, gaining a number of penalties deep in Baildon territory, which led to Jon Pickard being held up over the line and Tatlow and Clarkson being stopped just short.
With Baildon resisting the pressure a fracas broke out and led to the referee sending off Liam Kernoghan and a Baildon prop.
The Pythons continued to force the issue, Ram Ismail eventually breaking through the home line and offloading to Tatlow to finish.
Fallenstein added the extras for 20-12 on the hour-mark.
The hosts responded with a converted try almost straight from the re-start and the game was back in the balance at 20-19.
A Fallenstein penalty added three more points to the ‘Gate tally before Luke Price-Gerrard scampered over in the corner and Fallenstein converted to wrap things up.