Harrogate Ladies missed out on a chance to join the likes of Harlequins in the Women’s Junior Cup second round after falling to a 29-7 defeat against Didsbury Toc H at Rudding Lane on Sunday.
Harrogate battled hard but were undone by a quick-running and more experienced opposition.
Harrogate never gave in and showed strong determination in every play. Pushing on Didsbury at every breakdown and showing a strong defensive line, not allowing the visitors through.
Harrogate started quickly, keeping possession early on, pushing up and hard on Didsbury, but the opposition found a break on the blindside and sprinted through the defence to touch down on the tryline.
Three Didsbury tries followed, though Harrogate pulled one back through outside centre Amy Foulerton,
Fullback Nicole Jones sprinted through the defence to put her side’s first points on the board right under the posts, leaving an easy conversion kick for captain Claire Williams, bringing the score to back to 17–7 at half-time.
The Harrogate Ladies were in the hunt for a second half turnaround and gave everything they had to force the issue.
Lineout expert Debra Humphries put in a dominant performance at the set-pieces and stole almost every ball from Didsbury to gain Harrogate ground.
However, Didsbury added two scores in the second half, ending the match with an unconverted try.
It is the first season Harrogate Ladies have entered the Women’s North Two East League, in which they currently prop up the table after two matches.
Harrogate first team fly-half Callum Irvine has taken on the responsibility of coaching the Ladies team alongside Chris Warburton and Jonathan Oates.
This Sunday, the Ladies will bid for a shock result at York Railway Institute, the team who lie top of the table following three successive wins.
In their previous league encounter, Harrogate slipped to a 24-5 defeat against Scarborough but put in a valiant display with only 14 players.
Warburton said: “The girls have all been working really hard, and we have been working them really hard.”