On a less than pleasant evening as the weather had turned somewhat wintery, a larger than expected crowd turned up to support their lads in the first round of this year’s Aire-Wharfe cup.
Wharfedale started strongly and continued to put pressure on the visitors defence, which eventually yielded and a penalty was given away. Centre Nick Taylor with the kicking duties for the night duly converted from right in front. 3-0 to the home side.
From the re-start, Wharfedale went straight back on the attack and were soon camped in thre Bees 22 but numerous knock-ons gave the visitors hope but this was soon diminished as the Close brothers ably supported by the ever improving Joe Jackson in the front row soon had the upper hand at scrum time. Eventually, the ball was passed out to the centres following a take against the head and Taylor cut a line and had the power to score by the posts. Conversion added, 10-0.
The next try was soon on the score sheet. More sustained pressure, playing up-hill and into the elements not seeming to bother the hosts and fly half Michael Beer gave a neat inside ball to Taylor for his second. He added the conversion and took the score to 17-0.
Thankfully, someone else scored next. Great hands by the back line out to the left wing found Harry Balderson, who despite not feeling at home out wide, showed good pace and foot work to beat the remaining defenders in little space near the touchline. Conversion missed. 22-0.
To round off the half, two more tries were scored, both by impressive young colts. Firstly Morgan Davies powered over from close quarters after a series of pick and drives to take the score to 27-0 ,then neat hands by full back Sam Mason put winger Otto Mallalieu-Black clear for a try down the right wing. Half time score 32-0.
Now with the wind and the slope, the lads in green continued to add points to the score board, although this was to go a little awry as the half progressed as players began to think average kicking was a good attacking idea. The first score was following more pressure at the scrum and colt Will Lawn at scrum half, who had an outstanding match, had the pace and speed of reaction to pounce on the loose ball to take the score to 39-0 with Taylors conversion.
After Bees gave a penalty away deep in their half, the option of the line out was taken. A well orchestrated rolling maul ensued and replacement flanker Sam Smith profited with the touchdown. 44-0. Taylor then completed his hat trick after Bees kicked out of defence finding the centre full of running. He cut straight back through the now tiring defenders to take the score to 49-0
Mallalieu-Black then added his second to take the score to 54-0. He’d also taken over kicking duties, without success. The final score of the night was taken by Jack Kitching who had another very good game on the flank and tormented the Bees lineout all night. He took the final pass from Jackson after a quick tap penalty. Final score 59-0.
Next week we have a home tie for the quarter final against Bradford Salem. Date & Time tbc.
1. Matty Close
2. Ian Close
3. Joe Jackson
4. James Ardron
5. Morgan Davies
6. Jack Kitching
7. David Wade
8. Matt Wareing
9. Will Lawn
10. Michael Beer
11. Harry Balderson
12. Mark Simpson
13. Nick Taylor
14. Otto Mallalieu-Black
15. Sam Mason
16. Tom Carlisle
17. Dan Benson
18. Sam Smith (jnr, not fat)
19. Tom Wareing
20. John Davidson
Tries: Taylor (3), Mallalieu-Black (2), Balderson, Davies, Lawn, Smith, Kitching
Cons; Taylor (3), Pens; Taylor (1)