Rampant Harrogate Pythons rack up fifty points in demolition of Vandals

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Harrogate Pythons scored a half-century of points as they consolidated their position at the top of Yorkshire Three with a comprehensive home victory over Halifax Vandals.

Tom Breakwell’s early penalty saw the men from Station View take a 3-0 lead, however their visitors hit back quickly, scoring the first try of the day with 11 minutes on the clock.

A second penalty from the boot of Breakwell edged the Pythons back in front at 6-5 five minutes later, but the see-saw nature of the contest continued and the Vandals kicked a three-pointer of their own to re-claim the ascendancy.

From this point onwards, the ‘Gate forwards began to dominate proceedings at the set-piece and Hugh Tatlow burst through an attacking line-out before a long looping pass from Jed Carr found Jon Pickard in space to crash over in the corner.

With Tom Everingham making big holes in the Halifax defence, one such charge was followed by a strong Max Sharp run.

He then linked with Sam Gibbs, who drew the full-back and passed back inside for Sharp to finish off.

Breakwell added the extras for an 18-8 lead in the 34th minute.

Things were to get even better for the hosts shortly before the interval when Breakwell spotted a gap behind the Vandals defensive line and put in a kick which Carr collected to touch down.

Breakwell again converted to make the half-time score 25-8.

Dan Bird’s men began the second period sloppily and Luke Price-Gerrard ignored a two-man overlap and butchered a great chance to extend the lead.

The Pythons did not have to wait long to add to their tally, however, and after the Vandals had a man sin-binned for slowing the ball down at the breakdown, ‘Gate capitalised on the resulting scrum.

Breakwell linked with Ivan Drane down the blindside and the latter put Everingham in at the corner before Breakwell again converted for 32-8.

With the Pythons producing some free-flowing rugby, another try arrived as Joe Bentham broke through and stepped inside the home full-back to score under the posts.

Breakwell’s kick stretched the scoreline to 39-8 in the 70th minute.

The re-start was collected by Matt Leach who scattered the Vandals defence and quickly-recycled ball put Matt Halpin away down the wing.

He then passed inside to Carr who dashed away for his second of the afternoon, converted by Breakwell.

The scoring was completed four minutes from time, Carr completing his hat-trick thanks to an inside pass from Liam Kernoghan.