Wharfedale 40-17 Huddersfield

Playing with the wind and down the slope Huddersfield managed the 1st half well and led at half time by three points. They could not add to their score in the second half and saw Dale run in 4 more tries for a convincing win (on the scoreboard). To their credit ‘Field made them work hard for every try and the score did not do them full justice.

Dale opened the scoring with a try by Josh Burridge, converted by Robbie Davidson. Dale had an attacking line-out which was secured and then got the drive going. Madison Hunting then charged at the defence and dragged in quite a few defenders. James Coulton was on hand and he nearly reached the line but the ball came loose and Burridge picked up the ball to dive over. Edward Barber got the visitors on the board with a penalty before Alexander Nash crossed for a converted try to take them into the lead. Dale were guilty of gifting the visitors with too many penalties and Huddersfield made good use of the wind to get deep into Dale’s half. From the restart Ryan Hodgson was yellow carded for a high tackle. The ref was very hot on these all afternoon. A great run by Verity  ended with a penalty against Huddersfield for another high tackle. Another good catch and drive pulled in the defence and then an inside ball from Oli Cicognini set up James Coulton for a converted try to nudge Dale back in front. A comedy of errors soon followed with the ball ending up with a delighted William Hammond who grabbed a late converted try to give Huddersfield the lead at half-time.

The second half was a totally different story as Dale started to dominate possession and territory. Josh Prell was denied a try by an eagle-eyed touch judge but Huddersfield could not clear very well and Dale were again attacking. From the efficient line-out Robbie Davidson split the defence wide open to start the scoring, adding the extras himself.

Huddersfield did manage to put some phases together and more indiscipline from Wharfedale allowed them into the home 22. 14 phases after a line-out they came close to scoring but could not cross the whitewash. Sam Gaudie was then yellow carded for letting the ball drop by his feet after a penalty awarded to Huddersfield! 4 phases later Verity hoofed the ball down field. Dale won the line-out and then a great break by Hunting took play into Huddersfield’s 22. 4 phases after another good line-out Simon Borrill crashed over for the bonus point try, Davidson again accurate from the tee. This was a historic moment as it was Borrill’s 1st try for the 1st team having held the record for the most number of games without a point. Great play by the Dale backs then allowed Tom Darwin to touch down for an unconverted try. A text-book try; 1st phase from a line-out was sent down the line and the right-winger touching down.

Tom Darwin was denied a scoring effort by a deliberate knock-on which earned Huddersfield’s Stephan Newport a yellow card. Another solo effort from Robbie Davidson plus his own conversion ended the scoring. Dale hold on to 4th place, a 4 point win in the final game against Lymm will mean the end of a fantastic season.

With a lot of regulars out of contention this gave a chance for others to stake a claim to being in the top flight. No player shirked away from anything. There was some intimidation by some of the older heads on the away team but the Dale youngsters did not step away and the Green Machine kept up a strong performance all afternoon. One area that was a vast improvement from the defeat against Billingham was the line-out. On the other hand the discipline did not improve!

Sam Dickinson got the nudge from the sponsors, Simpson Homes, for Man of the Match but there were other contenders. Robbie Davidson’s two individual tries; Simon Borrill for his work in the line-out; Madison Hunting for work at the break down and for his running with the ball to name a few.

Wharfedale: – Verity; Prell (Darwin 61), Coulton, Cicognini, Hodgson; Davidson, Gaudie (Riddiough 61); Meehan (Altham 69), Hunting, Dickinson, Green (Burton 67), Borrill, Beresford (Collinson 70), Pinder, Burridge.

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