A scrappy affair which did not do justice to the good crowd that had turned out for this pre-season game. Dale were sluggish in the 1st of three sessions and gave away silly penalties that cost them possession and territory. Billingham ended the first session leading 12 – 0.
Wharfedale opened the second session by gifting the home side the ball with over complicated play which didn’t work and by conceding more penalties. Relief for the visitors came from a turn-over in Dale’s half which the backs soon turned into attack. The move ended with Omari Kaup-Samuels opening Wharfedale’s account. Louis Verity added the extras. Minutes later Omari cleared up a messy Dale line-out and made a break down the line giving the scoring pass to Tom Beresford for an unconverted try.
Billingham’s restart was run back by Dale and after three phases Oscar Canny made space to break away and score the visitor’s third try. Beau Verity converted to give Dale a 12-19 lead. Dale were now playing with intensity, concentration and accuracy. The session ended, however with Dale giving away more penalties and allowing Billingham another platform to score another unconverted try.
The last session was won by Billingham who scored 4 more tries to end up winning the match 41-19. Dale were back to making too many mistakes, making bad decisions and missing tackles. Thankfully this is only a pre-season game and a learning experience. The faithful hope that many aspects of the game will be sorted out on the training ground in the coming weeks. There is another chance next Saturday, 19th August to improve when Wharfedale play Chester at the Avenue. KO 2pm.