With a brisk breeze blowing from across the Humber it was Wharfedale who edged the first half. With greater resources Ionians turned out two separate XVs and as Dale tired the home team had the better of the second half.
As with the game against Kirkby Lonsdale, there were a lot of pluses for Dale and Head Coach, James Doherty, was pleased with the work rate and skill levels shown by the Men in Green.
One of the major positives was the scrum. Only as the second half wore on did Hull get on the front foot. In the first 40 minutes they were in retreat as Dale proved to have superior technique despite looking the lighter unit.
Ionians rarely mounted a concerted attack in the first half and it was only a brief moment of poor tackling from the visitors that allowed them to cross Dale’s line.
The rest of the first half was dominated by Dale and two tries from Harry Dunne and Josh Burridge were scant reward for their efforts.
Hull came out with a new set of players and fresh instructions and scored four tries to win by a clear 21 points.
Congratulations to the two young lads who made their debut for the 1st team having come through the Wharfedale system. Archie Hancock and Joe Fawcett came on in the second half and both showed they were not overawed by the opposition and made significant contributions. Ben Blackwell, Kieran Frost and Louis Brown also had debuts for the Greens and all did more than enough to justify their places in the squad.
The back row trio were a joy to watch with regular face Josh Burridge being joined by Jack Barnard and James Tyson. It was sometimes not clear who had made the tackle and who forced the turn over as the three worked really well together. It was good to see Barnard back in a green shirt and to see Tyson having a good workout on the pitch after a long layoff.
There are now two weeks before the start of the league campaign for the 1st team. There were players who you could call 1st team certainties that have not been in evidence for one or both preseason matches, and the players that have played have made strong cases for their inclusion, so there are good problems for the management team to sort out. It also shows that the club has strength in depth as all the players in the warm up matches have shown they are all capable of 1st team rugby.
NB. It was good to see Jake Parkinson on the pitch this week and apologies to his brother Ben for awarding a try to Jake in the Craven Herald last week instead of him. At least Jake was in the country! Last season I awarded a try to Adam Stockdale instead of Dan – Adam was the other side of the world!
Wharfedale: – Joe Altham, Dan Stockdale (c), Reece Ward, Jim Mason, Kieran Frost, Jack Barnard, James Tyson, Josh Burridge; Sam Gaudie, Jordan Annett, Oli Cicognini, Harry Dunne, Joel Gill, Ralph Wellock, Louis Brown.
Replacements – (all used) Toms Asejevs, George Altham, Jimmy Meehan, Chris Swainson, Jake Parkinson, Joe Fawcett, Will Lawn, Ben Parkinson, Ben Blackwell, Archie Hancock