The game started with 15 minutes of stalemate with the visitors Harrogate controlling possession and territory, without being able to break the Blaydon line. Frustratingly for the home side it took a poor pass from Harrogate scrum half to break the deadlock as full back Jack Haydock gathered the loose ball and fended off some poor Blaydon defence to score. Scrum half Kit Keith converted.
That try seemed to wake Blaydon up as they quickly found themselves in the Harrogate 22, and some good handling in the backs got the Ball to Dan Marshall. The try was ably converted by Fly Half Jonny Dowell who was making his Blaydon debut.
For the next 20 minutes Blaydon were arguably the better side but a lot of enterprise counted for nothing as the last pass was often forced and Harrogate were let off. Saying Blaydon were the better side, that was apart from at scrum time where Harrogate were dominant. Most scrums led to the home side being penalised which gave Harrogate good possession, and it was following a Blaydon penalty that Harrogate scored their second try which was a lineout which led to a catch and drive score for Hooker Steven Maycock.
Half time Blaydon 7 – Harrogate 12
Unfortunately for Blaydon the second half started how the first half left off with Harrogate kicking to the corner and driving over for a second try for Maycock which was again unconverted.
The next 15 minutes was played in Blaydon’s half with some resolute Blaydon defence stopping Harrogate scoring again but eventually centre Sam Fox crossed for Harrogate’s Bonus point try, this time converted by Keith.
Blaydon finally sparked into life and found themselves in the Harrogate 22 for the first time in the second half. Waves of attack ensued and eventually Drew Thompson went over for Blaydon’s 2nd try but Dowell missed the conversion.
There was still a glimmer of hope and Blaydon continued to look lively but errors when hammering away at the Harrogate line cost Blaydon some good opportunities with the line begging.
Harrogate then put the final nail in Blaydon’s coffin, taking the game from their own line to Blaydon’s 22 and in what was the last play of the game, scrum half Kit Keith scored in the corner. This was a bad end to a miserable afternoon for Blaydon with Harrogate deserved winners.
Full Time Blaydon 12 – Harrogate 29
Blaydon: Appleton, Mongan, Marshall, Ashman, Cooney, Dowell, Clarkson, Dodds, Chaplin, Thompson, Phillips, Laughlin, Varley, Harrison, Clarke.
Replacements: Winter, Gray, Charlton, Clark, Horsfall
Harrogate: Haydock, Barnard, Cummins, Fox, Yates, Yates, Keith, Percival, Maycock, Dennis, Kitching, Brady, Coser, Dodds, Coser
Replacements: Harrison, Wurzal, Thompson, Raubitschek, Edwards
REFEREE: Nikki O’Donnell
STAR MAN: Harrogate’s Steven Maycock
Tries: Marshall 17, Thompson 67
Conversions: Dowell 18
Tries: Haydock 12, Maycock 36, 44, Fox 61, Keith 80
Conversions: Keith 13, 62