The Devs made the trip over to Yarnbury hoping to maintain their winning start to 2018. The day started in typical Dev fashion as the pre match meeting point of The Craven Heifer car park was quickly relocated to the bar to allow players the chance to stay hydrated and shelter from the cold wind before the journey.
However, on the pitch things couldn’t have started any worse as Yarnbury’s scrum half made a break and kicked through to score before Wharfedale players had laid a hand on the ball or even completed a tackle. In fact the first quarter of an hour was poor on quality from both sides with chances dropped and a lack of continuity, perhaps down to the pre-match preparation.
Eventually things began to click and it was no surprise that Number 8 Dan Benson (who wouldn’t even think about pre-match drinking) crashed over to grab the first of his four first half tries after some excellent wing loitering. Hard running gave him his second before forwards and backs linked to sweep up field and eventually put Elliot Stockton over in the corner as he fought off 3 would be tacklers. Benson added his third and fourth before half time profiting from strong running from the Wharfedale centres.
The second half started in similar fashion to the firs; pretty awful! But gaps started to appear. Prop George Altham, making his return from injury, made a 50m break and pulled off an outrageous sidestep to leave the full back on his arse and stroll in under the posts. Yarnbury pulled a try back before scrumhalf Rory Mcnabb added two very well taken tries, after a number of phases were put together.
Jacob Taylor, who was outstanding throughout took the kick off and set off on a lung busting run, destroying all in front of him and with just the full back to beat, he ignored the extra man Sam Arkwright, loudly screaming for the ball alongside him, and was dragged down just short. The ball was quickly recycled however, and passed to Max Metcalfe, barely 2 yards out with nobody in front of him… he dropped it.
The pack put the Yarnbury scrum under pressure and gained the put in on the 5m line. Fly Half Jonathan Davies called a pre-meditated backs move as the scrum began to set and centres Beer and Mason were quick to put money on the fact only one thing was going to happen. Out came the ball and the veteran fly half dummied one way, then the other and flopped over the top of his opposite number to grab himself 5 points.
The final try came from substitute Bert Hargreaves, powering over from close range and finishing off a profitable afternoon for the boys in green. There were glimpses of excellence and these will need to be maintained before league leaders West Leeds visit the avenue this Saturday.