A Spring(ish) day welcomed Wharfedale to Moortown for their last league fixture of the season and a chance to stay top of the pile (but with a game in hand for West Leeds).
Moortown opened the stronger and were the first to trouble the scorers as they spun the ball wide and found the mid field defence a little out of shape and cut through to score a converted try. 7-0.
The lads in green then began to find their feet and with the lineout working well even with Joe Jackson in the unfamiliar hooker role, the ball was won and spun out to the backs. A customary show and go by JD went close as did the follow up scoop by Harry Balderson from 9. Jackson then had a go and crashed over to score. JD was off target with the extras. 7-5.
From a penalty, another attacking lineout opportunity presented itself. The ball was won and went out to the backs again and hit Sam Lockwood on a cracking line to take play deep into their 22. The ball was quickly recycled and fed out to mid field where second row Jim Bowers, powered over (if a little greedily!). JD was on target with the extras. 7-12.
A kick through by Moortown was well gathered by Sam Arkwright at fullback and then Moortown were penalised for going off their feet. Balderson took it quickly and Joe Slater continued the move and chipped ahead, the ref then, a little fortunately in our favour, adjudged a holding back infringement sufficient for a penalty try to be awarded. 5-19.
As the half progressed, Cabbage fancied a longer half time than most so got himself a yellow card (very out of character). The game got a little structure-less for the remainder of the half and then the home side capitalised on the man advantage and narrowed the half time gap to 12-19 with an unconverted try.
Wharfedale knew that they needed to get on the scoreboard first in the second half to quell the Moortown resurgence. A good attacking kick by Slater found the field position. The lineout was then turned over and fed out to JD who carried hard then fed the supporting Bowers who powered over for his second. JD with the 2. 12-26.
The old man then got on the try scorers list himself after a typical show and go and a determined charge to the line touching down near the post and making no mistake with the extras to create a healthy lead of 12-33.
Moortown then came back and narrowed the gap to 14 with a converted try of their own. Then, following a shoulder injury to ‘glass’ Harry Balderson, Dave Hickling reverted to his more customary role of scrum half and scored a typical Dave Hickling short range pick and go to score. JD missed the extras from wide out but 19-38 looked healthy.
The home side finished the scoring for the day when one of their lads went on a Sam Smith style, fairly fast for a fat lad, charge to score wide on the right.
Final score Moortown 24, Wharfedale Development XV 38.
Good win lads, rounding off a cracking league campaign. Onwards to cup rugby!
1. Paul Marklew
2. Joe Jackson
3. Andy Charlton
4. Jim Bowers
5. Tom Rymer
6. Josh Brewer
7. Dave Hickling
8. Dan Benson
9. Harry Balderson
10. Jonathan Davies
11. Sam Lockwood
12. Joe Slater
13. John Davidson
14. Tom Oakes
15. Sam Arkwright
16. Sam Mason
17. Scott Rogers
Tries: – Bowers (2), Jackson, Davies, Hickling, Penalty.
Cons: – Davies (3).