Broadstreet RFC entertained Harrogate RFC in round six of National League Two North fixtures at a sunny Ivor Preece Field Rugby Ground . A last play of the match try gave visitors Harrogate a stunning comeback victory, but not before the officials had deliberated for an agonising length of time as 'Gate sneak in at the corner; after Broadstreet had seemingly clinched the encounter with a 24 – 14 lead just 7 minutes before time.
'Street, once again were somewhat disrupted in fielding a much changed side due to injuries, but, nevertheless, started well camping in Harrogate 's 22 for a sustained period and registering first through the boot of Ben Cooper after 15 minutes played but then, when on the offensive again minutes later, a turnover saw a break out leading to an against the run of play try for James Morland converted by Joe Rowntree, 3 – 7 at the end of the first quarter. Harrogate increased their lead on the half hour, following another 'Street offensive with an attack down the left flank. Lively left wing Ashley Elvers made 40 metres before a chip and chase, but the ball bounced kindly for the defending fly half Calum Irvine to safely gather. A quick, long dropout caught 'Street's retiring attackers out of position and a fortuitous bounce allowed Noel Minikin to grab Harrogate 's second try converted by Rowntree, 3 - 14. 'Street went on the offensive again in the run up to half time and redressed the balance with a 35th minute Jack Gibbons try after a patient build-up and captain Jamie Harrop was the beneficiary of a penalty line-out drive two minutes before the break. Cooper converted both to put 'Street in the lead. The last play before half time saw lock Aaron Crofts, who put in a robust performance throughout, intercepted in his own 22 metres area to break away to half way but a scrambled defence was enough to prevent further progress.
Half Time : Broadstreet 17 Harrogate 14.
Jeff Gregson intercepted 25 metres from his own line to outsprint defenders for a great solo effort. Cooper converted and 'Street extended their lead to 24 -14. Harrogate took the third quarter offensively and only some tenacious defence, with Harrop, Dan Martin and replacement Chris Wood, amongst others, putting in some tireless work to prevent scoring. However, a lapse on the right flank allowed Harrogate to make good ground and winger Sam Bottomley cashed in with a well-taken try with 6 minutes of play left. Add the conversion, and Harrogate had set up a nail-biting finish. 'Street forced play deep into Harrogate's half but a spilled ball gave the visitors vital possession and from the scrum they blasted away, eventually gaining a penalty and with play now into extra time they threw caution to the wind and ran from their own half to put Irvine in at the corner despite the attention of two defenders. The long, agonising wait resulted in the try being given and Rowntree landed a fine conversion to put icing on the cake. Two minutes into the resumption, wing
Cue Mrs Freemantle: "What can I say? I'm gutted"! [Aren't we all Mrs F?]
Final Score: Broadstreet 24 Harrogate 28.
Squad: Nathan Tilsley; Jeff Gregson, Beau Carney, James Otutaha, Ashley Elvers; Ben Cooper, Andy Murray; Jake Dodd, Stewart Pearl, Rob Dugard; Aaron Crofts, Matthew Solomon; Dan Martin, Jamie Harrop (C), Jack Gibbons. Ben Dawes, Mike Worthington, Chris Wood, Dan Hope, Jack Webber.
Thought for the Game:
The Game can be cruel at times and 'bounces of balls' and 'rubs of the green' can deny effort and endeavour, but, in the final analysis, you have to make your own luck and this game was there one to be won. Nearly there, Gents! Definitely a good, improved, collective performance overall, but it is now essential that everyone holds their nerve to push on to, hopefully, more rewarding times!