Harrogate Pythons RUFC secure 'three valuable points' in survival quest with draw at Beverley RUFC

Harrogate Pythons bagged “three valuable points” in their battle for Yorkshire One survival on Saturday.
Ed Challis charges towards the try-line during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley. Picture: Julian TatlowEd Challis charges towards the try-line during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley. Picture: Julian Tatlow
Ed Challis charges towards the try-line during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley. Picture: Julian Tatlow

The men from Station View came away from their trip to Beverley with a 34-34 draw – and almost left with the win.

A last-gasp conversion that would have edged them ahead was missed, but head coach Dan Bird was still happy to see his side come away with a result which keeps them within touching distance of the team directly above them in the table.

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“This was a fantastic result on the road and three valuable points in our fight for survival,” he said.

Pete Millward on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley.Pete Millward on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley.
Pete Millward on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' Yorkshire One draw at Beverley.

“Our forwards were able to assert their dominance early in the game by controlling the scrum, and this was compounded by powerful carries from all of our pack in open play.

"At moments it felt like the game was about to break out in our favour, but it remained in the balance for the full 80. There are huge positives to take from our defensive sets and the way that we turned defence into attack with such ruthlessness.

“As a coaching team, we will leave no stone unturned between now and the end of the season to ensure our survival.

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"This week we will be boosted by the arrival of Calum Irvine as a coach mentor for our first receivers. We are very much looking forward to working with him.”

Beverley took an early lead in Saturday’s contest through a pair of penalties, but the Pythons got up and running on 20 minutes. Luke Price-Gerrard and Pete Millward were both stopped just short following an attacking line-out, but quick ball ensued and Jed Carr floated a pass out wide for Tom Stabler-Langan to dive over in the corner.

The Pythons dominated the next few phases, going ahead when Carr spotted Stabler- Langan out wide once more, and the latter stepped inside before outpacing the cover to bag his second try of the match.

Carr added the extras, but shortly afterwards, with ‘Gate still on top, Beverley intercepted a pass and scored under the posts to level matters at 13-13 in the 35th minute.

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The Pythons would however retake the lead before half-time, Carr again pulling the strings and putting Ed Challis into space to race over from 15 yards out. Carr kicked the extra two to make it 19-13 at the break.

Two converted tries at the start of the second period then saw the home side open up a 27-19 advantage, though Bird’s men were done yet.

With Beverley down to 14 men following a yellow card and giving away a succession of penalties as the Pythons turned the screw in the scrum, Milnes picked from number eight and dived over the whitewash to reduce the deficit.

Carr’s conversion then made it 27-26, though some lax tackling in midfield allowed the home side to break through and touchdown again for 34-26.

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Carr kept ‘Gate in touch with a penalty, then with time almost up, the Pythons launched one last attack, which ended with Carr feeding Hugh Tatlow, who raced in from 20 metres out and levelled matters.

Carr’s conversion attempt was just wide, and the final whistle sounded immediately afterwards.

Saturday’s result leaves second-from-bottom ‘Gate five points behind 10th-placed Old Rishworthian.