Harrogate RUFC Ladies push league leaders Sheffield Women hard in close affair
And although they went on to lose Sunday’s game by a 35-17 score-line, Neil Davies’ team produced some good attacking rugby, while also defending resolutely for long periods.
A try from Adoaha Akiwu within the first five minutes, followed by an impressive conversion from Emily Attwood, saw Harrogate break the deadlock and go 7-0 up.
Sheffield came back strongly and it took some determined defensive work to keep them at bay, with Hattie Braithwaite, Georgia Briggs and Sarah Foster making some stand-out tackles.
The visitors would however find a way through before the interval and took a 15-7 advantage into half-time.
Some effective passing by Braithwaite and Jess Deacy-Clarke kept ‘Gate moving incrementally up the pitch, and they continued to ask questions of the away defence.
The hosts’ aptitude for scrummaging was evident, and their forwards used their skills at the set-piece to squeeze Sheffield, earning them possession of the ball repeatedly throughout the second period.
And they would get their reward for their persistence, with a brace of touchdowns by Georgina Youlden narrowing the gap to 20-17.
Harrogate continued to work hard at the other end of the field, but despite their best efforts, the visitors were able to add to their total, eventually putting the game out of reach.
And although beaten in the end, the nature of their performance suggests that there is still plenty more to come from Davies’ side.
Next up for ‘Gate Ladies is a trip to Halifax Ladies this weekend.