Dudley Kingswinford 22, Harrogate 47
DISMAL Dudley Kingswinford are still looking for their first win in National League Division 2 North this season following a dreadful second half show against Harrogate.
It means the DK's have been defeated in their opening eight games - but it was the manner of this latest setback that will be most disappointing - writes Nick Pullen
Dudley had looked the better side during first half exchanges and led 17-14 at the break.
But the second half was nothing short of a disaster as Harrogate were allowed to run in five tries.
The Dk's had given themselves a superb start when left wing
Liam Marshall was sent over in the corner for an early 5-0 lead.
Harrogate hit back with two converted tries, scrum half Danny Matthews and centre Luke Edwards touching down, both of which were converted by fly half Joe Rowntree.
Determined Dudley battled back to take the lead right on the stroke of half time when fly half Kieran Pinches plundered four penalties.
Harrogate came flying out of the traps for the second half, running in two tries within the opening four minutes through Rowntree and Matthews.
These two tries appeared to knock the stuffing out of Dudley who were thrown out of their stride.
It didn't help when they had flanker Luke Greenwood yellow carded on 48 minutes following an off-the-ball incident that was spotted by the touch judge.
Harrogate added a fifth try through flanker Aarin Yorke before replacement scrum half Tom Scrivens, a recent recruit by Dudley from Cinderford, got the vital touch to a try after his pack drove over the Harrogate try-line.
That made the score 33-22 with 15 minutes remaining, providing Dudley with a glimmer of hope that they could get back into the game - but it was a case of nothing doing.
Harrogate hammered home their advantage with two late converted tries, Matthews scampering over for his third touchdown of the afternoon, before Edwards crossed for his second score, both of which were improved upon by Rowntree's boot who finished with six conversions in total.
It was a dejected DK side that trooped off the pitch and Director of Rugby Gordon Bannatyne confirmed:
"We lost 11 players this summer for a variety of reasons, so we knew it was going to be tough.
" If we'd got last season's backs and coupled them with our current forwards, we'd be doing a great deal better".
Dudley have already tempted stalwarts Ian Langford and Ben Connett back out of retirement, while they have Stourbridge players Tom May and Ashley Oyekan on loan to them, although May didn't feature against Harrogate because of injury.
The Dk's are hopeful another Stourbridge player could be made available to them and are keeping their fingers crossed he could arrive in time for next week's daunting trip to leaders Macclesfield.
In fact DK's need all the help they can get at the moment!