Bradford & Bingley 2nd XV 12 – 19 Wharfedale Development XV

The Development XV travelled to Bradford and Bingley hoping to do a double for the season over their opponents, but equally knowing that this was never going to be an easy task. The Bees are a strong side and the conditions would favour their style of play more than Wharfedale’s usual wide game.

To say that it was a little damp underfoot would be wrong as it was more over-foot, part way up your leg kind of damp and the rain didn’t ease throughout the afternoon. Both teams and the referee analysed the pitch and decided that a game could safely go ahead so long as a degree of common sense was used.

The match kicked off at 2.05 as no-one was particularly keen on hanging around and the 30 mins each way contest was underway. The first half was a tight affair with lots of close quarter play by both teams. Wharfedale eventually broke the deadlock despite being under the cosh by the home side for the majority of the half and rarely leaving their own 22. Winger Sam Smith was the man to open the scoring with a well taken try down the left flank, beating several defenders en-route to touching down behind the posts enabling veteran Jonathan Davies to kick a simple conversion. 7-0.

The Bees then resumed play as they had for most of the half and camped back in Wharfedales 22 but this time they managed to breach the defence, but only out wide so the tricky conversion was, not surprisingly, off target. 7-5.

Second Half.

A quick turnaround of 30 seconds to avoid hypothermia, and the second half was underway. Wharfedale appeared a little asleep from the re-start and Bees capitalised with a quickly taken try under the sticks to take the lead for the first time. 7-12.

Wharfedale then showed great character in the worsening conditions. The half was now only going to be 20 minutes maximum, and so with time constraints and challenging conditions to contend with, they went back on the attack to hopefully regain the lead. Sam Smith was again the man to cross the white wash with a virtual carbon copy of his first half try. Davies again kicking the conversion from under the posts. 14-12.

Smith then went off with a ‘niggle’ (also known as jug avoidance), but Wharfedale were now pressurising the Bees line in the same manner that their own line had been attacked in the first half. This time though, a handling error by the Bees trying to run out of defence was pounced on by the returning Nick Taylor, who went in unopposed. The ref called time without allowing the conversion attempt, about which no one really complained and rushed off to the thankfully warm showers.

1. Ian Close
2. Tom Carlisle
3. Joe Jackson
4. James Ardron
5. Dan Benson
6. David Wade
7. Joe Metcalfe
8. Matt Wareing
9. Sam Mason
10. Tom Murray
11. Sam Smith
12. Adam Stockton
13. Nick Taylor
14. Joel Bradley
15. Jonathan Davies
16. Thomas Walker
17. John Stephenson
18. Tom Allsopp
Tries: Smith (2), Taylor; Cons: Davies (2)

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