The Development XV and over 160 supporters welcomed West Leeds to the Avenue on a pleasant early spring evening and the pitch looking surprisingly good after such a challenging winter. The lads were looking to overturn a defeat at West Leeds from earlier in the season and make amends for last week’s narrow loss at Ripon to hopefully maintain their position at the top of their league.
The home side soon opened the scoring showing pace and crisp handling skills through the midfield to put winger Harris Catley into space to score out on the left. 5-0. West Leeds then responded and attacked down the slope into the home side’s 22 and were awarded a penalty for their efforts. 5-3.
Colt, Will Lawn created the next score of the match, with a lovely break down towards the tackle shed, beating several defenders. He was tackled by the Leeds fullback and the attempted offload went astray but winger Otto Mallalieu-Black was on hand to pick up and score. 10-3.
Wharfedale were now feeling in control of the match and a neat inside pass from Mark Simpson put Nick Taylor clear to score by the posts. Catley added the extras and we were 17-3 up. West Leeds soon put doubt into this ‘control’ and responded well and camped down in our 22. After several penalties were conceded, a try was scored following a quick tap. 17-8.
The visitors then added the next score after a loose ball bounced kindly and their impressive centre burst through to score near the posts. The conversion was successful. 17-15.
Wharfedale then secured the bonus point after second row Alastair Allen cut a line back inside and scored near the posts for Catley to add the extras. 24-15. The final score of the first half followed a strong run by the impressive Mallalieu-Black who found Olly Cicognini on hand, who cut a nice line to score the home sides 5th try. Catley Converted and we were 31-15 up at half time.
Wharfedale continued how they finished the first half and scored the next try. Mallalieu-Black scoring after another powerful, determined run. Catley converted and we were looking good at 38-15.
Substitute flanker, David Wade gathered the ball after some loose kicks by both sides and went on a rumble up the middle of the pitch, Cicognini was on hand to continue the move and score his second. Catley added the extras again. 45-15.
West Leeds, showing great determination, came back with two well taken tries either side of another for the home side scored by Jack Kitching, who was outstanding all evening. This took the score to 50-27.
Wharfedale then rounded off the evening’s action with two tries for scrumhalf Will Lawn. First, following a break over half the length of the pitch by Nick Taylor, the ball was quickly recycled and a gap opened up to cross the line and the second after supporting a characteristic jinking run from Cicognini. Final score 69-27.
1. Matty Close
2. Ian Close
3. Joe Jackson
4. Alastair Allen
5. James Ardron
6. Jack Kitching
7. Andrew Bode
8. Matt Wareing
9. Will Lawn
10. Michael Beer
11. Otto Mallalieu-Black
12. Mark Simpson
13. Nick Taylor
14. Oliver Cicognini
15. Harris Catley
16. Thomas Walker
17. Thomas Carlisle
18. Adam Stockton
19. David Wade
20. Dan Benson
Tries: Mallalieu-Black (3), Cicognini (2), Lawn (2), Allen, Kitching, Catley, Taylor
Cons: Catley (7)