The latest encounter for the 3rd team was to host Bradford & Bingley 2nds. A cool but bright day welcomed the visitors to The Avenue and the hosts were eager to level the scores for the season as Bees won on their own patch. They travelled with a bit of a weaker side and only managed to assemble 13 men, so James Ardron was encouraged to play for them to even things up at 14 a side.
Wharfedale had multiple changes from the previous week, 5 of which were in the pack. Dan Benson was promoted to the 2’s, Jim Bowers had had a knock on the head so was making more sense but still had to have the mandatory 3 weeks off, Charlie Lawn was away seeing his girlfriend (I’m sure your dad would never have missed a game with such an excuse), Kitch was on his 8th skiing trip of the season and Wackers was at Hawes getting excited about sheep. In the back line we did welcome back Will Harr and James Raper but Goose was busy taking pictures of the Angel and Scott Rogers decided that ice cream needed scooping in January. Anyway, we assembled a side and a game was on.
We started brightly and were soon looking the dominant side. Good field position was obtained playing uphill and the ball was spun wide to Will Harr. The winger showed his pace and strength again to cross the whitewash. JD was off target but we were 5-0 up.
Next, Joe Fawcett broke clear from 40 yards out and had the pace to beat the remaining defenders to touch down by the posts. JD added the easy extras, 12-0.
The third try came from a solid mid-field scrum. Scrum Half James Raper broke clear to score. JD was on target again, 19-0.
Next, new man Sam Buster, an Aussie recruit on a ‘gap yar’ and playing on the wing showed good pace and skills to run clear and score our 4th try. JD was wayward, 24-0.
Bees then got on the score sheet after Ardron, playing in the centre for them, won a penalty at the breakdown. They opted for the posts, 24-3. Now with a bit more confidence and more ball to play with, Bees came back on the attack again and took a quick tap from an offside penalty and crashed over to score. 24-10.
A good response by Wharfedale as fullback Arkwright finished off a move to take the score to 29-10 for half time.
There was little scoring in the second half, but JD had to try his show and go. It worked again and the old man scored. The conversion was missed though, final score 34-10.
Notable moments from the game include the senior debut of colts hooker, Harley Debney-Succoia, a return to rugby for Alastair Allen – it didn’t take him long to give penalties away and disagree with the referee, and for James Ardron playing the full game for Bees even when given the chance to swap at half time.
Tom Whitehead, Jake Starkey, James Huck, Tom Fitsell, Eddy Keighley, Joe Fawcett, Tom Baines (c), No 8 (14 a side), James Raper, Jonny Davies, Will Harr, Michael Beer, Andrew Hodgson, Sam Buster, Sam Arkwright.
Harley Debney-Succoia, Alastair Allen, Joe Moorhouse
Tries: – Harr, Fawcett, Raper, Buster, Arkwright, Davies. Conversions: – Davies (2)