Harrogate Pythons RUFC enjoy vital win over fellow strugglers Hullensians RUFC

Ed Challis dives over the try-line during Harrogate Pythons' home win over Hullensians. Picture: Submitted
Ed Challis dives over the try-line during Harrogate Pythons' home win over Hullensians. Picture: Submitted

Dan Bird’s men headed into Saturday’s fixture second-from-bottom of the table and eight points adrift of safety having lost eight of their opening nine matches.

And a contest which ebbed and flowed throughout looked as if it was going to end in another Pythons defeat until Dan Adams’ late try, converted by Jed Carr, earned them a 24-21 success and a bonus point to go with it.

With head coach Bird absent due to being on paternity leave, Roy Mackay oversaw proceedings at Station View and was left thrilled by what he witnessed.

"We adapted well to the wet and muddy conditions, playing some good, structured rugby against very gritty and committed opponents,” he said.

"One of the most pleasing aspects was that all 18 players contributed to the win and, throughout the match, there were some terrific examples of individual and team attack and defence.

"Although the scores seesawed over the course of the 80 minutes, we maintained our composure to see out the game and added the four-try bonus point.”

The Pythons began Saturday’s game with intent, but despite enjoying the better of the opening quarter, they found themselves 7-0 down as Hullensians bagged a converted try with 25 minutes on the clock.

Undeterred, ‘Gate continued to press and when the dominant Marcus Fotherby claimed another line-out, the platform was laid for Ed Challis to drive over from close range.

Jed Carr then added the extras to level matters at 7-7.

And the Pythons moved ahead before the break when an attempted kick for touch was scooped up by Harry Parrish, who sets the home back line moving, with the final pass from Saul Adshead setting Louis Dabhi-Green clear to run in from 20 metres out.

Hullensians hit back after the interval, scoring their second converted try to take a 14-12 lead.

Turnover ball then saw the hosts reclaim the ascendancy, Adshead pulled down short of the try-line before Mike Adams put Tom Stabler-Langan over in the corner for 17-14.

The visitors came back again with another converted try, however it was the Pythons who had the final say.

Fotherby again secured line-out ball, Mike Adams fed Carr, and he spotted Dan Adams, who stepped a defender to score under the posts.

Carr’s conversion attempt dissected the uprights, rounding things off at 24-21.

Saturday's success moves the Pythons to within three points of 10th-placed Old Rishworthian and leaves them eight clear of rock-bottom Bradford & Bingley.