Dev XV 39-31 Bradford & Bingley

Bradford and Bingley travelled to the Avenue looking for the double over Wharfedale and Wharfedale were keen not to let that happen.

On a cold and windy day Dale won the toss and played into the wind in the first half. In tough conditions Wharfedale looked to keep the ball tight through picking and driving, sucking players in and firing it out wide only when the spaces appeared. This worked to their advantage with Tom Oakes crossing in the corner. The combination of good kicking and the wind allowed Bees easy exits, and setting up camp in the Wharfedale half on a regular basis gave them scoring opportunities which they took on 2 occasions. The game ebbed and flowed, with Bradley Viner, making his first start, made some great runs off the right wing, being rewarded with a try in the corner after smart work in the tight from the Wharfedale pack, with Dan Benson making inroads into the Bees defence at regular intervals. Charlie Lawn hurried his way over from two yards just before half time, again after the Dale pack had grafted into a great position, by keeping the ball tight and getting good go forward.

Despite being down by a score at half time Wharfedale were not panicking. Having the wind behind them and a track record of strong second half performances they were very much in the game!!

James Raper got into the game from inside centre getting over the gain line at regular intervals and linking well with Jonathan Davies at 10. These two combined well to put Sam Arkwright over in the right hand corner. Nobody can stop Arkers from 10 yards out. He took his try with a neat dive in the corner!!!

From the fly half position, JD started to use his running game to great affect, puncturing the defence or sucking in large numbers of defenders. His reward for his running was a customary try, giving Wharfedale a slender lead. That lead was lost through some sloppy defence in there own half letting Bees sneak over in the far corner. The Bees were leading with 7 minutes to go.

Again, no panic from Wharfedale. There was plenty of time left. A long kick off from JD led to a turn over and some slick hqnds from the back a sent the powerhouse fullback Sam Arkwright over for his second try. The lateness of his try allowed some forgiveness for hatrick avoidance!

In the dying seconds Stevo snuck over to spark a final score of 39-31. It had been a great finish from the Dale side who thoroughly entertained a sizable crowd!!!!!

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