Harrogate must pinch points from promotion rivals

Harrogate face a crunch National 3 North test at Sandal
Harrogate face a crunch National 3 North test at Sandal

Harrogate are hoping to get their promotion push back on track with a National 3 North win at Sandal on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).

Second-placed Harrogate were without a match at the weekend, and are looking to arrest a two-game losing run against their rivals.

Sandal sit fourth, and Gate team manager Graham Siswick insists his side are ready to return to winning ways.

He said: “To stay in contention for a promotion spot, we have to win some games.

“We need to start taking points off the teams around us, and because we have lost against Chester and Percy Parks, this weekend’s match has become even more important.

“We have had two weeks to prepare, so we will be ready, and hopefully we can pick from strength.”

Harrogate are likely to be boosted by the return of captain Jimmy Browne and Kyle Dench.

The manager insists the team spirit is right, and says the position of both sides will add to the spice of the derby fixture.

He said: “Having a week off has given us an extra week to prepare, we can’t wait to get back on the field and get a win.

“It will have been a long two weeks by the time Saturday comes round.

“ We are determined to get back to that winning mentality.

“The motivation and the desire are both still there.

“Without a doubt, our focus is still on getting promoted this season.”

Siswick added: “We haven’t become a poor side by losing a couple of games, the players believe in each other, and play for each other.

“We know a few of Sandal’s players and coaching staff, which should add to the mix for an exciting game.”

Gate seconds host Sandal seconds on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).