Wharfedale took to the field hoping to back up the comfortable win from the week before with another solid performance. There were numerous changes to the starting XV with a mixture of experience, inexperience and general rustiness making up the playing squad.
Yarnbury opened the scoring after the home side gave away a penalty at a ruck. They took the quick tap and gained an extra 10m as the hosts were deemed not back 10. Now in kickable range, the 3 points were duly taken. 0-3.
Wharfedale then looked to be finding their feet and were starting to string a few phases together. Eventually this resulted in a penalty close to the opposition line, near the posts. A scrum was opted for and held steady for No.8 Jack Kitching to carry from the base. The ball was recycled and scrum half Dave Hickling powered over from short range. Fly Half Jonathan Davies added the extras. 7-3.
The hosts were on the attack again. A loose ball at a line out was gathered up by the ever alert Max Metcalfe who made good yards deep into Yarnbury territory. The ball was quickly recycled and fed out to the backs, where JD threw a pin-point pass to Jack Kitcking (an inch or two different and an interception try was well on the cards). Kitching then passed the ball to put Sam Mason clear into space and score the second try. JD again with the conversion. 14-3.
Wharfedale were now enjoying a purple patch, if only a brief one and the short highlight of a very error strewn encounter. A solid midfield scrum allowed a well-executed move to the right hand side. Impressive fullback Sam Arkwright put Adam Stockdale clear to run in for the third score. JD was on target again and things were looking rosy at 21-3.
Yarnbury had other ideas. They came back strongly with some determined carries from backs and forwards. Arkwright showed his defensive capabilities well but eventually they managed to crash over on the left hand side. The tricky conversion was missed. 21-8.
Yarnbury, now playing with more confidence, came straight back on the attack and some lacklustre defending by the home side allowed them in for their second try. Thankfully for the home team (and management) the kicker was off target again. 21-13.
In an increasingly scrappy affair, Yarnbury troubled the scorers first during the second half. An attacking play following a scrum went out to the left in midfield, then was kicked cross field, some defensive confusion by Wharfedale allowed the visitors to gather the loose ball and canter in to score. With their first successful conversion of the afternoon, the game was tight at 21-20.
This woke the lads in green up (a little bit). Back on the attack they came deep into the Yarnbury 22. JD then put Kitching into a gap. He then beat two men to score. Another successful kick and a bit of breathing room at 28-20.
More loose play was to follow and Yarnbury were there to capitalise. They pressured the green line but the ball was turned over and cleared only for the visitors to attack again. Following even more scrappy loose play they crashed over for their 4th try. Final score Wharfedale 28, Yarnbury 25.
It had been a very disjointed encounter that the home side were relieved to win. There were odd pleasing moments and performances but there was certainly a lot to improve on. Special mention must go to Ben Rymer and Tom Carlisle who played a half each for Yarnbury.
1. Thomas Walker
2. Tom Carlisle
3. James Huck
4. Dan Benson
5. Robert Hargreaves
6. Max Metcalfe
7. Josh Brewer
8. Jack Kitching
9. Dave Hickling
10. Jonathan Davies
11. Paul Amourdedieu
12. Sam Mason
13. Chris Kay
14. Adam Stockdale
15. Sam Arkwright
16. Ben Rymer
17. Josh Clay
18. Ben Hammonds
19. Smith Middleton
20. Andy Charlton
Tries: -Hickling, Mason, Stockdale, Kitching. Convertions: -Davies (4).