Late penalty seals Luctonians' fate at Harrogate

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First published in Sport

Harrogate 18 pts Luctonians 15

LUCTONIANS director of rugby Alex Davidson remained upbeat despite a disappointing, narrow National Two North reverse at Harrogate.

"We are disappointed but there were some promising things to come out of the game," said the former Birmingham & Solihull lock.

"We've been working hard on getting some unity in the side and it's the best we have played in an away fixture all season."

A couple of early errors allowed Harrogate to take an early grip on the game.

Callum Irvine split the visiting defence to go in under the posts and successful kicks by Joe Rowntree extended the lead to 10 points with only 20 minutes on the clock.

After that, however, Luctonians began to take control and produced some outstanding play.

"We applied lots of pressure and our pack was in the ascendancy," said Davidson.

"Chris Cundliffe went over for a try and then Jimmy Norris finished off a good run by Drew Cheshire."

With Will Burton converting Cundliffe's try, Luctonians were two points ahead at the interval and a Burton penalty extended the advantage after a Harrogate offside offence.

Harrogate, however, responded well in the closing stages and Sam Bottomley went over for an unconverted try to level the scores.

And then, with five minutes of normal time remaining, Rowntree held his nerve to kick a tricky penalty to secure the win.

On Saturday, Luctonians have a chance to get back on the winning trail when they entertain basement club Dudley Kingswinford at Mortimer Park.

"The respective league positions show that it is a game we should win and we know that they have been shipping points, especially against the top sides," said Davidson.

"But they are always up for the game against us as it is a local match.

"The pitch should be fine - if we can avoid the showers it should be fine by Saturday."

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