Saturday 19th November
Old Brodlieans 2nd XV versus Wharfedale Development XV
On a particularly grim, wet, drizzly, grey, slushy winters day, the lads in green travelled to the sunny climes of Hipperholme where winter usually lasts for 11 months only to be broken briefly by a wet autumn.
Todays opponents were Old Brodlieans second team who are flying high on top of the Yorkshire Merit League Championship North Table with 7 wins from 7. The visitors had a bare 15 men but were quietly hitting form including a great win the previous week over West Leeds.
The warm-up on the rather slopey pitch was conducted in a light blizzard, but conditions under foot were solid enough, that said, this looked like no day for a winger, even the well-nourished variety were feeling the cold.
Wharfedale started strongly with captain and No.8 David Wade leading excellently from the front and well supported by the rest of the pack all with a hunger for work and eager to carry the ball. An early break up the hill by full back Jon Feeley created the first real chance of the afternoon. He put bullocking winger Sam Smith one on one with his opposite man, who he duly bulldozed out of the way then outpaced the fullback to touch down under the posts. Fly Half Jonathan Davies added the simple extras and we were 7-0 up.
The visitors continued to enjoy a large share of the possession and were relishing the challenge. Strong carries by the centre pairing of Olly Pursglove and Scott Rogers were making good in-roads. The home sides defence was feeling the pressure and a penalty advantage was awarded, play continued and Smith was released again and just had enough room to crash over in the top left corner. The tricky conversion was missed but the score was 12-0.
The hosts then had their first real opportunity and a ball was well fielded by their left winger who had the size and pace to beat a couple of defenders in a strong run for a well taken try. The defence never gave up and forced the touchdown to be out wide for a tricky conversion, which was missed, but Brods were back in the game at 12-5.
Back came the lads in green and yet again put pressure on the Brods defensive line. This time the simple shot at goal was taken from the awarded penalty. JD made no mistake (apart from continuing to grow a hideous ‘tache). 15-5.
Brods scored first in the second half. A turnover was conceded deep in their 22, the stolen ball was spun wide to the left where they benefited from an overlap to cut through the green tacklers. The ball was then passed back inside to supporting runners before finally being scored out on the right to take the score line to a tight 15-10.
Wharfedale were then on the attack again. A cracking carry by the impressive Jake Starkey followed by other useful carries put the Brods under pressure again. This time the penalty was awarded for a high tackle. JD then extended the lead back to 2 scores at 18-10.
With the home side tiring, Wharfedale continued to enjoy the majority of possession and with the benefit of the slope and good touch kicking by Davies and Feeley, regularly found themselves deep in opposition territory. At an attacking ruck on their line the ball was illegally hacked through by a Brods player. The ball then ricocheted off Scott Rogers back over the home try line. Winger Adam Stockdale then showed great awareness and pace to charge past the two retreating defenders to touch the ball down for the third try. JD with the extras, 25-10.
With time remaining, the visitors went in pursuit of the 4th try and bonus point but a determined home defence had other ideas and the score remained at 25-10.
An outstanding performance from 1-15 against a very good side who are top of the table on merit. The desire and hunger for work and the defensive effort was excellent. Up front Wade led superbly. Starkey was possibly the pick of the forward ball carriers and young second row Eddie Keighley showed great promise in the lineout as well as ball carrying and tackling. In the backs, JD yet again controlled proceedings from 10. The defensive solidity of the centre pairing and the destructive running of Smith all contributing to a great team performance.
1. Thomas Walker
2. Tom Carlisle
3. Jake Starkey
4. Dan Benson
5. Eddie Keighley
6. Andrew Bode
7. John Stevenson
8. David Wade (C)
9. Sam Mason
10. Jonathan Davies
11. Sam Smith
12. Olly Pursglove
13. Scott Rogers
14. Adam Stockdale
15. Jon Feeley
Tries: Smith (2), Stockdale
Cons: Davies (2)
Pens: Davies (2)