Rugby Union: Harrogate shut out Sandal in first half to secure derby spoils

Callum Irvine dives over to score for Harrogate. PIC: Richard Brown
Callum Irvine dives over to score for Harrogate. PIC: Richard Brown
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Sandal were blitzed by National Two North Harrogate’s first-half performance and lost 35-17.

The sides were separated by just four points yet by half-time, visitors Harrogate had already done enough to leapfrog their opposition in the table.

Sandal were unable to cope with the speed and precision of play as centre Lewis Minikin and fly-half Callum Irvine ran in a brace of tries each.

The pair amassed the full 35 points between them, Minikin landing three conversions and two penalties.

Sandal hadn’t looked like scoring in the first 40 minutes and came out after the interval with some harsh words ringing in their ears.

To their credit they responded well with full-back Simon Frewin and winger James Ellar scoring tries converted by fly-half Greg Wood, who also added a penalty, but Harrogate never looked like capitulating to a comeback despite being unable to add to their score.

Otley recorded their first success of 2016 with a 20-10 home victory over Huddersfield.

Both sides had suffered defeats in their first game of the New Year and needed to get the ball rolling for the second half of the campaign.

Otley made the perfect start with two tries from winger Declan Dunn to lead 10-0 before the visitors kicked a penalty courtesy of fly-half Chris Bell. Otley added a third try before the break, scored and converted by skipper Stephen Depledge to make the half-time score 17-3.

Huddersfield eventually reduced the arrears to seven points when lock Adam Malthouse crashed over and Bell converted.

Otley pushed out their advantage with a penalty to calm their nerves but the bonus point eluded them.

Morley’s North 1 East game at Beverley was postponed, while Wharfedale lost 27-13 at home to Blaydon in National League One.

The group included Peter Drinnan, from Wetherby

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