Rugby Union: Yellow cards cost Harrogate dear

Callum Irvine
Callum Irvine
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Harrogate lost 17-34 at home to Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday, in a game that saw the hosts concede five yellow cards.

The scores were tied at 10-10 at half time and it was 17-17 after quarter of an hour in the second half of the National Two North contest.

However Harrogate conceded five yellow cards throughout and this proved too big a handicap as 29 of Mowden Park’s 34 points came when Harrogate had a player in the bin.

From their kick off, Harrogate exerted pressure on the DMP defence and forced them into conceding a scrum.

The pressure continued and, in his 100th game for Harrogate, Chris Wilson drove over to score.

Callum Irvine converted from wide to put Harrogate 7-0 up.

Both sides played attractive attacking rugby but the inexperience of Harrogate’s younger backs manifested itself in knocks-on at crucial times.

After 15 minutes Aarin Yorke was binned for an offside offence and DMP soon used their superior numbers to turn over home ball and centre Callum McKenzie scored a try, converted by Gavin Painter.

A Sam Bottomley break put Harrogate into a promising position but they were losing too many of their own lines-out at crucial times.

They took the lead again from an Irvine penalty when DMP went offside but, just before the interval, Rob Adair was awarded the next yellow card and Painter equalised the scores.

Harrogate made a mess of DMP’s restart kick and the visitors set up another attack.

Guy Van Der Dries drove strongly and skilfully offloaded to Robinson who scored.

Harrogate immediately countered and an astute Irvine line kick gave Harry Parrish just enough space to sprint through and score.

Irvine’s touchline conversion evened the scores but, shortly afterwards, Tom Harvey was the next visitor to the bin.

A quickly taken DMP penalty led to another Robinson try.

Harrogate were still very much in the game but they then lost a line-out to give attacking ball to Painter and he duly scored.

Spirited Harrogate counter attacks were thwarted and they were eventually penalised for what was adjudged to be dangerous play.

A well-worked DMP back move ended with a Shaun McCartney try which proved to be the final score of the match.

Further yellow cards followed for Wilson and Andy Boyde.

Harrogate: Denton, Parrish, Edwards (Rowntree 59), Bottomley, Audsley-Beck, Irvine, Wickham (Matthews 58), Boyde, Yorke, Metcalfe (Musetti 58), Brady (Spencer 50), Harvey, Wilson, Adair, Heaton

DMP: Robinson, McCartney, Mitchell, McKenzie, Kill, Painter, Connon, Appleby, Donaghan, Bayford, Van Den Dries, Phillips, Riley, McCauley, Duff

Referee: Brendan Fitzmaurice (RFU).