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Three soft tries prove costly at Finstall Park
1:40pm Thursday 30th January 2014 in Sport
BROMSGROVE 17, HARROGATE 23
BROMSGROVE earned a bonus point but a dominant display could not prevent them slipping to a ninth straight loss in the National North Two.
Defeat leaves the second-from-bottom Finstall Park side stranded in the relegation zone, 13 points away from safety.
If this had been a boxing contest Bromsgrove would probably have won comfortably.
In terrible conditions the home pack dominated their opponents for long periods of the game, laying siege to the visitors line with the likes of Paul Norris, George Glen and Kev Salisbury leading the way.
Unfortunately they were hamstrung by two moments of poor defending and one moment of inept attacking which gifted the opposition three soft tries.
They were also let down by a poor refereeing display when a tip-tackle and a high tackle went unpunished.
The opening minutes of the match were fairly uneventful with both teams starting nervously and the first real chance for the visitors came on ten minutes, a fairly innocuous attack down the right flank should have been snuffed out but weak tackling let in the score for winger James Audsley-Beck.
Bromsgrove were conceding too many penalties and when the referee spotted an offence in the maul, Joe Rowntree kicked the penalty.
Town responded well and Aaron Higgins kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears.
At this point conditions were deteriorating and the home dominance was increasing, opportunities were missed during ten minutes of concerted pressure and when Bromsgrove tried to force things wide on the left the pass was intercepted and fly half Callum Irvine ran the length of the pitch to score as the home team went into half-time trailing 13-3.
Five minutes into the second period, Salisbury was driven over by the posts with Higgins converting. Town were sensing a rare victory but their defensive fragility was exposed again when Harrogate flanker Robert Adair scored by the posts with Rowntree converting.
Richard Mahoney scored a penalty after the away side had a player sin-binned but it too late to spark a late fightback. Bromsgrove go to bottom side Dudley Kingswinford in the battle of the basement (2pm).
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