Wirral 0 Harrogate 45

IN this re-arranged game Wirral were well-beaten by promotion chasing Harrogate, although the home side played a team which was missing a large number of their first team squad through injuries and work commitments.

It was apparent from the minutes following kick off that Harrogate were going to have the majority of the possession as they used their larger pack to make ground down the middle.

By half-time Harrogate had built up a 0-24 lead with three converted tries and a penalty and would have had their try bonus point in the first half when an easy chance was missed.

In the first 15 minutes of the second half Wirral kept Harrogate in their half of the pitch and were able to apply some pressure but could not get over the whitewash.

When the away side had quality possession they had the pace and guile to turn half chances into scoring opportunities and on the hour mark scored a further two converted tries to extend their lead to 0-38.

For the next 15 minutes play was concentrated in the Harrogate 20m area as Wirral controlled play and played with renewed vigour, again they could not make the pressure count.

During this period Harrogate had two further players sin-binned (making three in all) and a straight red card for punching. Even with Harrogate down to 13 players the inexperienced Wirral team were not able to take advantage when the few opportunities arose.

In the last play of the game, Harrogate scored their sixth converted try, a win which now moves them up to second in the table with Wirral remaining fourth from the bottom.

The Wirral coach will be hoping that with two weeks before their next game that their injury list will improve and squad players come available for selection.