Harrogate RUFC welcome back key personnel for derby showdown with Wharfedale RUFC

Harrogate RUFC welcome back a number of influential players for their National Two North derby showdown with Wharfedale.

By Rhys Howell
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 6:59 am
Declan Thompson, pictured in action against Wharfedale last month, returns to add his considerable presence to Harrogate RUFC's pack this weekend.
Declan Thompson, pictured in action against Wharfedale last month, returns to add his considerable presence to Harrogate RUFC's pack this weekend.

The Aces go in search of a long-overdue league win when they entertain their local rivals at Rudding Lane on Saturday afternoon (3pm).

Dave Doherty’s team head into their final home fixture of 2021/22 bottom of the table and in dreadful form having lost 12 matches on the bounce.

But, they came as close to beating Wharfedale as they have any side in recent months, leading March’s away fixture 21-20 until the last seconds of the game when a last-gasp penalty saw victory cruelly snatched away from them.

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Injuries and Covid-19 issues left Harrogate RUFC unable to raise a front row for last week's trip to Rotherham Titans.

‘Gate’s poor form this season, which has seen them come out on top in just three of their 28 fixtures to date, has had a lot to do with selection issues, though they are in better shape this weekend than they have been of late.

The Aces were forced to concede last Saturday's game at promotion-chasing Rotherham Titans after an already-depleted 1st XV suffered yet another injury nightmare at Sheffield Tigers in their previous outing and were then hit by Covid-19 withdrawals, leaving them unable to field a front row.

But, with the likes of Declan Thompson, Daniel Troup, Sam Fox, Tom Shrimpton, Matt Landsall and Campbell Swanson all back in contention to take on 'Dale, Doherty's squad has a much healthier look about it.

Wharfedale head to Harrogate four places and 31 points better off in 12th position having beaten Huddersfield 37-31 on home soil last time out.

That triumph was however their first in four attempts following three consecutive defeats.