The 3rds travelled to Selby on Saturday to play their 2nd XV to hopefully get back to winning ways following the previous week’s heavy defeat at table topping Huddersfield. Selby 2nds are only one place behind the Greens 3rd team, so on their own patch this was never going to be an easy task and that proved to be the case.
Wharfedale started well and sustained pressure earned a penalty in front of the home sides posts. Confidently turning down an easy chance of three points, Sam Mason chose to put further pressure on the home side by kicking to the corner for a line out. Unfortunately the ball was not won as cleanly as hoped and Selby managed to clear their lines. The Greens attacked again though and a 5 metre scrum resulted in a pushover try touched down by Dan Benson at number eight. The conversion was missed but it was 5-0 to the Greens and things were looking promising. Selby had other ideas and quickly came straight back with a try of their own out wide on the right. The conversion was missed. 5 all.
Wharfedale responded with a well taken try of their own out wide. Joel Bradley in his second game for Wharfedale put bullocking winger Sam Smith into space in front of the club house. The remaining defender was brushed aside and the lead was restored. 5-10. As before though, Selby’s backs found space out wide of the Wharfedale defensive line and responded with another try of their own. Scores tied 10 apiece.
Benson, growing in confidence in his new role at number 8, then broke clear in mid field and the scrambling Selby defence gave away a penalty, which Captain Mason again chose to kick to the corner for a lineout. This time the lineout was won cleanly and the ball was spun wide. A good line by Huw Morgan set up a mid-field ruck and the resulting quick ball was passed to Simon Borrill who crashed over to restore the Greens advantage. Again the conversion was missed. 10-15.
Loose Wharfedale defence, which was worryingly becoming all too common, then allowed Selby a quick response. This time the conversion was kicked and gave the home side the lead for the first time. 17-15.
Wharfedale quickly responded in this see-saw encounter. Good running by centre Morgan followed by efficient rucking and quick ball allowed Borrill to power over for his second try. Lead restored 17-20. Wharfedale then scored again, Morgan putting winger Smith into space, who with another great run, beat two more defenders to score near the posts. Unfortunately, the blustery conditions meant that even this conversion attempt missed the target but hopefully we were now in control and could extend the lead. 17-25.
Not so. The Selby backs once again found holes in the Wharfedale defensive line and narrowed the gap to 22-25 just before half time.
Wharfedale began the second half well and restored the 2 score advantage over their opponents. Bradley fielded a Selby kick and chose to run back at the home defence. Good footwork followed by inter-passing with Morgan saw the full back finish off a neat score in the left corner. 22-30. Selby then got their first score of the second half in what was becoming a try fest. A strong midfield break by Selby saw Wharfedale penalised at the ensuing ruck. Selby tapped quickly and one of their forwards crashed over to narrow the deficit for the home side. Conversion kicked 29-30.
Selby then tried to run the ball from their own 22, but great defensive work and an interception by Jake Starkey who had proved to be a handful to the Selby defence all afternoon, barrelled over. 29-35. Then the Wharfedale defence was once again found napping and Selby profited with a try just to the left of the uprights to narrow the gap to 34-35. With only a minute or so remaining the Wharfedale lads breathed a huge sigh of relief as one of the easiest conversion chances of the afternoon was pulled to the left.
Wharfedale restarted the game and patiently waited for their opportunity to turn over the Selby ball, which thankfully came and Starkey was able to punt to touch. The final whistle from the ref and relief as we had managed to hold on to the victory.
Overall a pleasing result to get an away win over a very good Selby side with some excellent attacking play but work needs to be done to restore the defensive pride that the team had earlier in the season.
It was an excellent result given that Selby’s first team didn’t have a fixture. This confirms our position in second place in the league, given the small number of fixtures remaining.
1. Matty Close
2. Jake Starkey (1t)
3. Chris Steel
4. Will Lord
5. Simon Borril (2t)
6. James Ardron
7. Andrew Bode
8. Dan Benson (1t)
9. Sam Mason
10. Michael Beer
11. Sam Smith (2t)
12. Joe Slater
13. Huw Morgan
14. Harris Catley
15. Joel Bradley (1t)
16. Ian Close
17. Tom Carlisle
18. Gavin Spencer