Harrogate Pythons RUFC suffer second straight defeat following 15 consecutive victories

Harrogate Pythons RUFC’s Yorkshire Two promotion hopes were dented once again by a narrow defeat at Bramley Phoenix.
Max Sharp on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' narrow Yorkshire Two defeat to Bramley Phoenix. Picture: SubmittedMax Sharp on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' narrow Yorkshire Two defeat to Bramley Phoenix. Picture: Submitted
Max Sharp on the charge during Harrogate Pythons' narrow Yorkshire Two defeat to Bramley Phoenix. Picture: Submitted

Having won 15 games in a row, Dan Bird’s men were beaten for the second weekend in succession as they lost out 28-27 on Saturday afternoon.

And, while that result sees the Station View outfit lose further ground to leaders Wensleydale in the title race, the fact that third-placed Baildon were turned over by Wath means that the Pythons still have a 11-point cushion in the second automatic promotion spot.

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The early signs were positive for the visitors and when a home scrum came under pressure, Sam Beagrie charged down the attempted clearance to regather and score the first try of the match. Jed Carr added the conversion for a 7-0 lead after six minutes.

Bramley levelled the scores on 21 minutes after Jack Hall’s pass was intercepted and things got worse for the Pythons as Beagrie was yellow-carded.

The hosts did however miss touch with the resulting penalty, enabling Bailey Bromberg to make an electrifying break down the touchline. The ball was quickly recycled and moved through the hands to Hugh Tatlow, who touched down in the opposite corner.

Heavy ‘Gate pressure followed and James Audsley-Beck was denied another try by a forward pass, but the pressure was rewarded when the Pythons scrum marched their hosts backwards. From there, Tatlow found Liam Kernoghan from the base and he stepped through the defence to finish.

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Leading 17-7 at the break, Bird’s men appeared to be on course for another victory when they extended their advantage just four minutes after the resumption.

A sniping run from Kernoghan earned his team an attacking scrum and the ball was shipped wide for Bromberg to touch down in the corner.

Bramley came straight back at the Pythons and they reduced the deficit to 22-14 with their second converted try of the afternoon just five minutes later.

Undeterred, ‘Gate were soon back on the front foot and both Will Butler and Tatlow thought they had scored tries, only for both efforts to be ruled out.

Max Sharp would eventually make it over to put the away team 27-14 ahead, only for Bramley to register two more converted tries late on and snatch the win.

This Saturday, the Pythons host Ripon.

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