PGRFC 32 – 45 Harrogate
Harrogate conjured a second-half comeback to beat Preston Grasshoppers in an eleven try thriller at Lightfoot Green.
Gate were 25-12 down at half-time but scored 33 points to take a maximum point victory back to Yorkshire.
Hoppers head coach Garth Dew reflected: “In the last two weeks we’ve really been working on popping the ball off the floor, offloading and finishing three on two situations, and the first-half was probably the best we’ve attacked this season.
“We kept the ball alive, moved it out and I was really pleased with the first half an hour. Just before half-time ill-discipline kicked in and we gave silly penalties away and invited pressure which is why we are where we are. This theme continued into the second half and our complete lack of discipline cost us once again.”
The conditions were perfect for running rugby and the Lightfoot Green crowd were treated to 77 points, as both sides played an offloading game with defence being a subsidiary element all afternoon.
The visitors broke the deadlock after only two minutes when easily Keane Naylor ghosted through a gap but Sam Fox missed the conversion.
Hoppers responded well eight minutes later when Ryan Glynn went blind from Oga Mabaya’s carry and fed Matt Beaty out wide and Lewis Allen added the extras.
Sam Gale then scored a well taken try, running onto a Tom Forster offload at pace to dot down under the sticks.
Allen converted and added a penalty to give the hosts a 17-5 lead.
David Doherty then narrowed the gap, but Hoppers would score the half’s final try when Matt Frings bulldozed his way over the line when it looked like Hoppers had butchered the chance.
Gate came out for the second period with a spring in their step, and Fox bagged a converted try after three minutes to send them on their way.
Further tries followed for Sam Brady, Ben Dixon, Oliver Rosillio and Luke Edwards in 15 blistering minutes which turned the game in the visitors’ favour.
In the final play Gale bagged a consolation score, but Harrogate deserved their maximum point victory.