Hull Ionians secured their place in National Division One in this close encounter at the Avenue against Wharfedale. Dale have ended their 20 year long status in the third tier of English Rugby. They have come close to the drop before but it was still a bitter pill to swallow. They worked hard throughout this game and seemed to have played themselves into a winning position until the last few minutes.
Dale had the better of the first half but Hull benefitted from a very high penalty count and converted two shots to lead 6-0 at oranges.
Dale again played the better rugby well into the second half and looked the fitter side.
Because of foul play from Edward Falkingham, just before half time, Hull started the second half with 14 men. Dale scored a penalty, kicked by Jamie Guy, before Hull were restored to 15 men.
Then the Green machine attacked and penalties were awarded against Hull on their own line, with advantage played Dale went on to score after a lovely move in the centre put Cameron Hudson over. Jamie Guy added the extras and the crowd roared.
But…. Wharfedale gathered the restart and looked to attack but the referee saw something and a penalty was awarded to Hull. The kick to the corner was followed by the attack on the line and penalties. Because Hull did not score however Wharfedale suffered a yellow Card and a penalty try followed soon after. Hull found their second wind, with the help of another penalty to gain field position. They pressed again and Joseph Makin went over in the corner.
Luck had not been on Wharfedale’s side all season and the lady deserted the Green Machine when she was needed. Luck is often the largess of the officials and this time round it was against the home side. There are views that luck can be manipulated and that you can learn from the decisions that luck throws at you. If this was the case then Wharfedale are poor students as the penalty count just grew and grew. There is also the view that luck can be fickle, luck can be inconsistent. Dale’s attacks on Hull’s line drew penalties but no yellow Card. Hull’s attacks, no more than three minutes later, saw a green shirt off the pitch. The only difference was that Dale used the advantage to score a well taken try!!!
The scribe was under pressure, from members of the crowd, to be more severe on the referee but has always taken the view that the referee deserves credit. However, when Mr. Hudson left the pitch he refused to discuss the match and was soon ensconced upstairs. All referees in the past have been open to discussion and to explain their decisions! I have always been happy with their comments and found that they have adjusted my view of the game. This time our match reporter was left with his own views.
Hull deserved the win. Credit must be given to Ionian’s for hanging on and eventually winning. Maybe one dimensional rugby but stick with it if it works. The old pick and go, tuck it up your jumper routine was effective and the Hull pack’s power at the scrum was impressive.
A selection of photographs is available under the Photos tab.
Labasse; Prell, Hodgson, Hudson, Cicognini; Guy, Woodhead; Beesley (Altham 58), Poole, Cano (Beesley 73), Preston-Rouledge, Hedgley, Burridge (Solomi 22, Burridge 41), Barnard, Baldwin (c).
Replacements not used: –
Allen, Graham, J. Bullough.