Skipton 0

Harrogate Pythons 53

A WELL-DRILLED Harrogate Pythons side proved too much for an understrength Skipton in this Yorkshire Three encounter, but a late outbreak of 'yellow fever' in the second half gave a final score which flattered the visitors.

A knock-on from the kick-off put Skipton on the back foot, giving Pythons a scrum on the home side's 22 and quick hands saw them in for the opening score of the day just minutes into the game.

Strong play from the Pythons from the re-start saw insurgencies into Skipton's 22 and only excellent tackling from back-row Tom Harrison and second-row Andy Wooler prevented further tries.

The Pythons eventually found a gap and were in for an easy second try.

Skipton prop Joe Simeon forced a knock-on from the re-start, giving Skipton the scrum, but turn over ball gave the Pythons possession and they were in for try number three.

A period of better, more consistent play from Skipton followed. They gained a penalty for Pythons holding on at the ruck and a good forward drive followed, but the side conceded a penalty themselves at the break down.

Skipton coach Craig Bartlett brought prop Harry McEneaney into the front row and Tom Lacey onto the wing.

They both made an immediate impact, with the home side putting the ball through many phases of play and building up an excellent counter attack, but the whistle blew for half-time with no points forthcoming.

Skipton made a good start to the second half, gaining a penalty at the breakdown but, once again, turn over ball gave the Pythons possession and they were in for try number four from the ruck.

Lacey put in a textbook tackle from the re-start and Skipton drove forward with a rolling maul from the line-out.

Play was held up and Skipton prop Darren Greenwood was penalised for standing up in the front row at the resultant scrum.

Two further offences and Greenwood received a yellow card. The Pythons put the ball into the corner and were over for try number five from the line-out. The touch line conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

Pythons gained a sixth push-over try, again unconverted, after repeated offences by Skipton, and a break-away seventh soon followed.

Skipton then received three yellow cards at the break down from the re-start and the game descended into farce.

With Skipton reduced to 12 men, the Pythons ran in two further tries at will. Neither were converted to give a final score of 53-0 in the visitors' favour.