An overnight frost and a slowly thawing day put the match in doubt and by mid morning it was a 50:50 call whether it would go ahead or not. After much umming and arring, YMCA were contacted again and said they had already set off and were willing to take the risk of the pitch improving by kick off. This proved to be the correct call as the day improved to a balmy 5 degrees and the pitch was in good order (much to the relief of the management).
Wharfedale started strongly, and after opening exchanges with strong carries and resolute defence with both teams finding out each others strengths and weaknesses, they were the first to register points. A mid field scrum, anchored by props by Tom Walker and James Huck sandwiching veteran hooker Dave Charnley in his first game in ages laid the platform for the ball to be spun wide to winger Fred Hewetson who crossed near the tackle shed. 5-0 to the hosts.
Soon after, YMCA gave away a penalty at a ruck. JD kicked to touch deep in the 22. The ball was won and spun out into midfield. A good rumble by Charnley, then a neat angled line by centre Sam Mason took them close. The ball was recycled and then JD fooled the opposition with his customary show and go to score (the defender must have been the only person in Yorkshire who wasn’t expecting that!). The old man was wayward with the extras but we were 10-0 up.
Hewetson the claimed his second after some slick handling by the back line to take the score to 17-0. YMCA then had a good period of attacking play and were camped in Wharfedale’s 22 for a good period of time but the home defence stayed resolute and the visitors remained without points.
Wharfedale were then back on the attack. James Ardron showing good carrying ability with his current ‘higher impact’ physique. He took the play up to the 22. The ball was recycled for a few more phases before JD mugged them with another show and go. 24-0
Wharfedale started the second half as they finished the first. Michael Beer, on at half time put JD through for his hat trick score. He added the extras, 31-0.
YMCA then had a small purple patch and showed their attacking prowess and capitalised on slight drops in concentration from the home side. 2 tries and a conversion took the score to 31-12.
Wharfedale then responded with the front row duo of Charnley and Huck in harmony carrying the ball deep into the YMCA 22 towards the score board. The ball was then spun out left to the clubhouse side where new recruit Will Harr on the wing showed great strength to ride a high tackle and still score. JD was wayward with the extras (his mind probably on buying a jug), 36-12
YMCA came straight back with their 3rd try of the afternoon to take the score to 36-19 but that was them done for the day and Wharfedale went on to score 3 more tries. Firstly, the ball went out wide right and after some neat inter-passing Sam Mason crashed over. This was followed by the try of the afternoon, which covered nearly the full length of the field and involved nearly everyone and was finished off by Ardon by the posts. Finally Hewetson got the second hat trick of the afternoon over by the scoreboard which replacement scrum half Philip Woodhead converted with a drop kick, 53-19.
Team: – 1. James Huck, 2. Dave Charnley, 3. Thomas Walker, 4. Jim Bowers, 5. Tom Fitsell, 6. James Ardron, 7. Harry Croft, 8. Jake Starkey, 9. James Raper, 10. Jonny Davies, 11. Fred Hewetson, 12. Nick Taylor, 13. Sam Mason, 14. Will Harr, 15. Sam Arkwright.
Substitutes: – 16. Callum Brown, 17. Andy Snell, 18. Michael Beer, 19. Andrew Hodgson, 20. Philip Woodhead.
Tries: – Davies (3), Hewetson (3), Mason, Ardron, Harr.
Conversions: – Davies (3), Woodhead.