Wharfedale 59-31 Lymm

A magnificent victory last Saturday meant that Dale secured 4th place in National League Division 2 North. An end of season spectacular with a good crowd treated to 13 tries. Wharfedale ran in 9 whilst Lymm managed a respectable 4.

An early 80 metre break by Louis Verity went unrewarded but Dale were soon back on the attack with some strong runs by the forwards. Sam Dickinson burst through from 35 metres and opened the scoring for Dale before Lymm put together a few phases of their own. They were rewarded with a penalty by Jack Reynolds and then a converted try from Alfie Simpson which took Lymm into the lead. A break down the right wing by Josh Prell was finished off by Madison Hunting with Davidson successful from the touchline to nudge Dale ahead. There were some well organised tries and the next one was one of the highlights. Jake Armstrong turned the ball over in Dale’s half. Davidson led the break out which was carried on by James Coulton, then Sam Gaudie, and finished by Louis Verity, Davidson added the extras.

The bonus point was secured when Dale were awarded a Penalty Try. An effective catch and drive was pulled down by Lymm prop, Matthew Hand, who was shown a yellow card. 14-man Lymm got one back on the stroke of halftime; James Kimber touched down with Reynolds knocking over the conversion. The visitors had closed the gap but Dale still led 28-17 at halftime.

Star Man Davidson created a try for James Coulton and Davidson added the two points before scoring Dale’s next try and the conversion. Coulton’s try was an old-fashioned stand-off move from Davidson using a combination of swerve and speed to leave the defence looking on. Lymm put some good handling in and this resulted in a try for Oliver Higginson again with Reynolds doing the business from the tee. Davidson and Coulton were combining well with Coulton returning the compliment and giving Davidson the scoring pass.

Armstrong got Dale`s next effort after good work by the forwards and Davidson Dale’s eighth before Prell finished the scoring. Davidson scored after a bit of trickery from Louis Verity put him in for a run at the line with only the Lymm scrum-half to beat. Davidson left him flat footed and ran in to score. Davidson only converted one of the three but had an impressive 22 points in the game. In between Kimber touched down for his second score.

Lymm, apart from a brief period when they were in front, were always second best in an entertaining match. All credit to the visitors as they never stopped competing and deserved to travel home with a bonus point. Their committee members reflected after the match that for them this had been a good season as they expected to struggle to survive after promotion last year. They have finished the season in a respectable 10th position and look forward to visiting “the most welcoming club we have come across in Nat 2 North” again next season.

The match was generally played in a good spirit – there was a bit of group cuddling going on but nothing serious! Wharfedale’s prop and forwards coach, Jake Armstrong, commented after the game that “I was impressed with our mentality going into the match; it would have been easy to play loose. The message during the week was to do simple things and do them effectively before cutting loose. The season has generally gone very well and the team would like to thank everyone involved in the club. I especially want to thank our faithful supporters who turn out in all weather and travel to all parts of the north”. Armstrong also wanted to thank all the players in the squad and all the people who work behind the scenes at Wharfedale.

Wharfedale: – Verity; Prell, Coulton, Cicognini, Hodgson (Riddiough 32); Davidson, Gaudie; Dickinson (Meehan 61), Hunting (Collinson 56), Armstrong, Green (Borrill 54), Hedgley (c), Pinder (Burridge 68), Markey, Burridge (Beresford 61).

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