‘Gate secure home triumph over Kendal

Sam Brady on the charge during Harrogate RUFC's home win over Kendal. Picture: Richard Bown
Sam Brady on the charge during Harrogate RUFC's home win over Kendal. Picture: Richard Bown

A strong second-half showing helped Harrogate RUFC to a bonus-point victory over Kendal at the Stratstone Stadium.

Dave Doherty’s side took a slender lead into the half-time interval of Saturday’s National Three North clash, but three unanswered tries after the break saw them to a 25-8 success and moved them up to fifth place in the league standings.

The Aces got off to the perfect start after flanker Jonny Coser made an early break down the right flank from near halfway.

He was stopped just short of the line by Kendal’s Dini Noyo, but ‘Gate were not to be denied and from the resulting scrum the ball was moved into the hands of winger Luke Edwards who ventured infield to run in under the posts.

Luke White added the extras for a 7-0 lead with just two minutes on the clock.

The hosts continued to enjoy the better of things until Kendal eventually came into the game and got themselves on the score-sheet courtesy of a Chris Park penalty in the 25th minute.

The impressive visiting scrum-half Noyo was causing ‘Gate some problems, but it was the home team who registered the next points of the game.

Fly-half White kicked over a penalty for 10-3 after a Kendal man failed to release as he attempted to run the ball out of defence.

Doherty’s troops should have taken their seven-point advantage into the break, but in injury-time, the lively Noyo broke for the line before offloading in the tackle to number eight Matthew Charters who touched down.

Just as had been the case in the first period, ‘Gate were again quick out of the blocks at the start of the second and a penalty kicked to touch allowed their pack to rumble over the line before lock Martin Dodds finished things off for 15-8.

Another try arrived in the 57th minute following another forwards drive from a penalty. This time Kendal were able to repel the initial advance but were powerless to stop winger Oli Rossillo crossing the whitewash once the ball was moved into the backs.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, the Aces put the seal on their victory and secured a four-try bonus point.

They again utilised their pack from a kick to touch and prop Connor Ward eventually applied the finishing touch, taking the scoreline to 25-8.

Kendal pushed for a second touchdown in the closing stages, but ‘Gate remained resolute and saw the game out in reasonably comfortable fashion.