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No complaints as Bees' wholehearted defence breached five times
Harrogate 29, Bradford & Bingley 5
Bradford & Bingley can have no complaints about this SSE National League Three North result as they were soundly beaten by a Harrogate side which dominated territory and possession from first to last.
The Bees' defensive efforts were superb throughout and Harrogate's players will know they have been in a game as they were met with a robust defensive line all afternoon, and had the visitors not kept up their tackle count this game could have turned into a rout.
The visitors only managed one extended visit to Harrogate territory and were rewarded with their only points in the 64th minute as Dan Cookson burrowed under a pile up wide out on the left.
It had taken their hosts 26 minutes to break down Bradford & Bingley's fierce resistance, and there was a hint of good fortune about that score as the referee penalised the visiting front row for an illegal bind at a scrum.
This gifted Harrogate possession and field position, allowing back-row man Timothy Heaton to collect the score after the home pack won the line-out and drove into the left-hand corner.
A second try arrived eight minutes later as flanker Nathan Smith drove over.
A 12-0 deficit as the sides turned round was an excellent reward for the Bees, and with the slope in their favour everything was still to play for if the visitors could fashion any kind of attacking threat of their own.
The second half continued exactly as the first, however, with Harrogate winning all the possession and looking to run everything, despite the heavy conditions under foot.
The Bees could not win anything at the line-out and, with the home pack hitting rucks and mauls as aggressively as the Bees were defending, a stream of quick ball was being shipped out to the home back line.
Within five minutes of the restart, Callum Irvine was able to gallop to the line up the left wing to claim a converted score, and ten minutes later player coach Mike Aspinall crossed in almost identical fashion as the Bees simply ran out of defenders.
With their consolation try notched, the Bees laboured whole-heartedly to get back into Harrogate territory, but could not fashion any real chances as all the rugby was being played in their 22 as the home backs continued to throw the ball around.
They were rewarded with a fifth five-pointer in the 72nd minute as Aspinall claimed a second.