Following immediately on from the exhilarating performance against Hinckley, this match was a major disappointment for the Greens, who were brought back to earth with a resounding bump by tough-tackling and fast-running opponents.
The length of time given over to the post-match huddle on the pitch spoke volumes. The Wharfedale players were treated to the views of head coach James Doherty for quite 15 minutes.
In his press comment later Doherty admitted that his team was second best in every aspect of the game:-“I am extremely frustrated as our week’s preparation had been good on the back of an uplifting win. However, we didn’t turn up at all. I have asked the players to reflect on the game, find out what their motivation is and find the spark that was so clearly missing from this performance.”
In truth the final score could well have looked even worse, Tynedale having missed 6 shots at the posts. Six tries to one gives a truer reflection of the balance of play.
The Greens were 13-0 in arrears with the first quarter barely over. Skipper Rob Baldwin conceded a penalty in illegally halting Tyne’s flying winger Aedon Maloney – and was also sent to the sin-bin. In his absence the penalty was converted, and then the depleted pack fell to a push-over try credited to lock Graeme Dunn. In the 21st minute Maloney, not to be denied his just deserts, crashed over in the left corner.
The Greens stopped the rot for a while and even threatened briefly to claw themselves into the game, mounting a spell of meaningful pressure in the closing minutes of the half.
A promising move, after stand-off James Guy, whose touch-kicking throughout the game was excellent, had set up an attacking line-out from a penalty, was abruptly halted when referee Callum Sharp contrived to get in the way of scrum-half Will Lawn’s attempt to launch the backs. The award of a Wharfedale scrum was small compensation given Tyne’s almost total domination in that area.
Nevertheless, the Greens continued to press forward, and after the second of 2 penalties to touch, a determined pack drive forced a penalty try on 37 minutes, home flanker Max Davies taking the rap and a yellow card. Guy’s conversion, plus a penalty 2 minutes later, saw them change round at 13-10 down.
Hopes of a recovery were soon dampened when the second half got under way. The first of 4 home tries came 6 minutes after the restart with Dunn’s second score and, while Wharfedale stemmed the surge for the remainder of the 3rd quarter without themselves seriously threatening the home line, it seemed only a question of time before the speedy Tyne backs broke through again.
The floodgates opened in the final quarter. Three further tries cemented a thoroughly deserved Tynedale victory, but it has to be said that scores from flanker Joe Mills (61 & 65 minutes) and substitute Jonny Mock (73) were each considerably facilitated by a series of missed tackles.
In a late effort for what could now be only a consolation try, the Greens had promising moves curtailed, first by a forward pass and then, for the second time, the referee’s body. Not a good day.
Wharfedale: – R Davidson; R Wellock, J Scott, T Davidson, J Prell; J Guy, W Lawn; G Altham, J Poole, T Asejevs, A Allen,E Ward, R Baldwin, L Wilson, J Burridge.
Substitutes (all used): – I Larkin, D Stockdale, A Oxley, N Myers, H Bullough.
The full range of photographs for this match and earlier ones are available by clicking here.