National League Two North: Harrogate 20 Wharfedale 17

THIS was another heart-breaking defeat for Wharfedale and their large away support.

The match was won by the Harrogate eights control of the ball.

In the first half, they dominated the scrum and they closed out the game with simple, old-fashioned rugby - not entertaining but effective.

The first 20 minutes were dominated by Gate and, with the referee happy to award penalties, David Doherty kicked them into a 12-0 lead.

Wharfedale had touched the ball twice in this period but knock-ons cost them dear.

In their first real attack, Scott Jordan regathered his own chip and good hands from Jimmy Bullough sent Josh Prell through and up to the line, the forwards finishing off the move with Josh Burridge crashing over.

Jamie Guy was no match for the strong wing and could not convert but Harrogate’s restart was run back by Jordan, and a high tackle led to a Wharfedale penalty.

The kick to the corner was followed by a catch and drive and another try for Burridge.

Again the wind won the battle for the extras but another penalty from Doherty gave Gate a 15-10 advantage at half-time.

Dale started the second half strongly and were held up over the line. As Dale could not field a fit front row, a player had to leave the pitch and the scrum was uncontested.

A clever move from Huw Morgan, standing at 10, sent Guy under the posts and he converted to nudge Dale into the lead.

Dale’s next possession was spilled, however, and Harrogate pressed through the forwards. Phases later, they squeezed over in the corner.

Try-scorer Doherty could not beat the wind but Gate were now in front again, and the hosts finished as they started with the forwards keeping it tight.

Any short moments of possession by Dale were given away and Harrogate ground their way to the finish, completing spells of phase after phase of controlled rugby.