Briefest of blogs yesterday to give little more than the result at Otley before setting off for Headingley and the play-off clash between Yorkshire Carnegie and Doncaster Knights.
It was a great game and hugely satisfying for the Knights. With two tries from Will Hurrell and Andrew Bulumakau and further points from the boot of Declan Cusack, they raced into a 3-17 half-time lead. Carnegie provided stiffer opposition in the second half, scoring a couple of tries of their own but the Knights held on, added points themselves with a penalty try and further penalties giving a final tally of 17-30.
Interesting that the Leeds based Yorkshire Post highlights this as a case of the Knights 'leaving the door open' for Carnegie in their second leg next Sunday. Well, even though there was something of a revival in home fortunes, the Knights still have to be very pleased with their win and, as is often said nowadays, would have taken that score willingly at the outset. Still, as they're very much aware, the job's half done and Carnegie will undoubtedly set out stronger next week.
Photographically it was quite satisfactory; all three Knights tries captured reasonably well, more close action shots from both behind the try line and the sidelines and a number of post match portraits.
As Harrogate's report on their game at Otley puts it, the league match which doubled as a Yorkshire Cup Quarter Final was 'nail bitingly close'. Playing away from home, Harrogate appeared livelier at the outset, putting the first points on the board with a drop goal from Callum Irvine and then a try shortly after. This seemed to sting Otley into life and, just when some home supporters were fearing the worst given recent defeats, they crossed the line in dramatic fashion with a try from Mike Coady.
Otley led 13-10 at half-time but a further try from Harrogate through Sam Bottomley (pictured here and previous post) restored a lead which was extended to 13-22 with a further score. A break and solo run from Otley scrum-half Stephen Depledge brought a try for Will Rigg and the score to 20-22, hence the nail biting for the final ten minutes or so. That's how it stayed though and it was Harrogate celebrating league points and a Yorkshire Cup semi-final at Doncaster Phoenix.
As mentioned on Periscope (now on YouTube), taking photographs of two previously featured teams playing against each other can be quite frustrating in terms of trying give equal weight to both. In short, it's impossible without the longest of lenses. On this particular occasion the results were ok without being brilliant: a try from each team was covered well although three others were only pictured from a distance. You can see more action shots here.
Still, it was a weekend of fantastic rugby, highlighting the quality throughout our county. Next week's the return leg in Doncaster and … Twickenham!