Rugby Union: Hinckley’s late show consigns Harrogate to relegation on final day

James Tincknell
James Tincknell
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It was a three-way fight for survival between Harrogate, Sheffield Tigers and Scunthorpe in National Two North, and it was Tigers who ensured their status for next season after a 36-23 victory at Luctonians.

Harrogate suffered the heartbreak of relegation, despite being on course for survival at half-time as they led 17-5 at Hinckley whilst the Tigers trailed. A try 90 seconds from time condemned the visitors to a one-point defeat, 32-31, which ultimately proved to be academic after Tigers’ victory.

Harrogate claimed the 2016/17 Yorkshire Cup in midweek, after Sheffield Tigers conceded the match, which will be at least some consolation for the relegated side who were joined in the bottom three by Scunthorpe. Also in National Two North, Wharfedale twice came back from 17 and 15 point deficits to secure a 41-34 win at already relegated Preston Grasshoppers.

Jamie Guy, Joe Altham, Tom Barrett, Adam Howard, Scott Jordan and James Tincknell were all on the scoresheet for the visitors who finish the season in 10th place.

Sale secured a home play-off tie in National Two North after running in 7 tries in their 44-14 defeat of Otley, who finish one place below Wharfedale.

West Leeds made it back-to-back promotions after coming away with a 19-14 victory at South Shields Westoe in their play-off game. Mark Calderwood scored the opening try, converted by Dale Breakwell to put West Leeds ahead, before Breakwell added a penalty 10 minutes later. South Shields dominated the game from that point but three visits into opposition territory in the second period resulted in three successful penalties, all for Brakewell.

West Leeds held firm, the victory ensuring they will be playing North One East rugby next season. Old Otliensians booked their place in the final of the Yorkshire Silver Trophy with a 31-19 win over Knottingley.