Harrogate make light of injury to coach Aspinall and sink Kendal

Harrogate 28Kendal 21

Strengthened by the return of key players from injury, Harrogate put on a consummate team performance to beat Kendal in a competitive match.

Kendal's tactics were based on their driving forward play with stand-off Mike Scott's kicks gaining them good positions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Harrogate tackled tenaciously throughout and gained crucial turnover balls to release their dangerous backs.

There was drama before kick-off when Harrogate player-coach Mike Aspinall declared himself unfit to start so Joe Rowntree, 18, moved off the bench.

The game started with waves of Harrogate attacks. Prop Jimmy Browne excelled and the backs profited from this solid platform. Half-backs Phil Wickham and Dickie Davies delivered constant good ball and winger Chris Harris scored the first try in support of a half-break by Ed Smithies.

Kendal's Mark Ireland and Harrogate's Rowntree exchanged penalties before Steve Parsons made a powerful midfield break and passed to Smithies, who scored between the posts for Rowntree to convert.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This was followed by Harrogate's best try of the season. Ben Sowerey made a great turnover in defence and the ball was quickly spun out to Davies. His cross-kick found Rowntree, who made ground before releasing Smithies, whose angled run split the defence. Jamie Broadley backed up to score a converted try.

In the final move of the half, a Kendal driving maul resulted in a converted try for flanker Gary Hodgson.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were scoreless but Rowntree's penalty extended Harrogate's lead. Aspinall, who had replaced the injured Broadley, added a drop goal and this proved to be Harrogate's final score of the match.

Kendal refused to give up and winger Matt Gracie crossed before a penalty from Ireland gave them a losing bonus point.

Macclesfield 41

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After the previous week's 42-0 win over Broadstreet, it was back down to earth for Huddersfield at second-placed Macclesfield.

The home side have only lost twice this season and no matter how hard Huddersfield worked, they were always up against it.

The visitors' solitary score came when second-row Nick Sharp bludgeoned his way over but by then they were already 27-0 behind.

Macclesfield ran in five converted tries and kicked two penalties and Huddersfield will be pleased to put the game behind them.

Although they remain third from bottom, they have games in hand over the sides immediately above them.