Harrogate handed Yorkshire Cup glory by Sheffield Tigers concession

Harrogate RUFC director of rugby Dave Doherty
Harrogate RUFC director of rugby Dave Doherty

Harrogate RUFC have been gifted a Yorkshire Cup hat-trick after Sheffield Tigers conceded Wednesday night's final.

The two National Two North relegation strugglers were due to meet at Morley in the showpiece event.

However, the Tigers conceded the fixture to concentrate on the final day of the league campaign this Saturday.

The South Yorkshire side had attempted to reschedule the final for August but their request was rejected by Harrogate.

Harrogate beat Tigers in the final last year, 12 months on from regaining the trophy with victory over Wharfedale.

Harrogate director of rugby Dave Doherty said he was disappointed the game had been shelved.

“It’s a very historic competition and we have taken it very seriously," Doherty said.

“We played a strong side in the semi-final against Hull and it probably did take some gas out of the boys.

“It’s disappointing that this is the way we have won it but I understand Sheffield’s decision. People want to stay in this league. It’s a competitive division and it’s where we want to be.”

Tigers' cancellation adds extra spice to an already tense final day this weekend.

Harrogate's defeat to Otley last Saturday plunged them back into the relegation zone in National Two North.

‘Gate now require a bonus-point victory over hit-and-miss midtable side Hinckley away to raise their chances of leapfrogging Sheffield Tigers above them.

Tigers have climbed above ‘Gate after a run of four wins in five matches and hold a one-point advantage going into the season finale.

On the form guide, Tigers will be heavy favourites to claim victory against fellow strugglers Luctonians on Saturday - leaving Harrogate with it all to do.

However, Doherty’s side could be thrown a lifeline if National Two South club Barnes fail to earn a point in their final match at top of the table Bishop’s Stortford.

“It’s all or nothing – five points gives us a good opportunity and that’s what we’ll be going all out for,” said Doherty, who will miss the clash at Hickley after pulling his hamstring.

“We can’t be worried about what other teams are doing. We can only focus on what we can do and hopefully get a reaction from the Otley game.