A decent, dry afternoon welcomed Yarnbury to the Avenue for a return of the fixture recently played at their patch. On that day, the visitors won quite easily but knew that counted for nothing as personnel regularly change at this level and teams one week to the next can look very different.
The home side were bolstered by the fact that they had a full side including 3 reserves (a stark contrast to the previous week at Ripon).
Wharfedale started brightly and soon play was deep into Yarnbury territory. A lineout was driven from close range but the ball was knocked on in the act of scoring. Yarnbury were then pushed off their own ball in the resulting scrum, which was then reset with a Green put in. The pack again powered over their opponents and debutant scrum half, Dave Hickling, touched down. Jonny Davies added the extras for 7-0.
Another driven maul was the platform for the next score for the hosts. This time Morgan Davies (or was it Tom Carlisle? The match reporter got a little confused), claimed the touchdown. The ever-accurate JD adding the extras to take it to 14-0.
Then following a brief kicking battle. JD fielded the ball and set off over to the left attacking towards the river. The ball was moved wider via the hands of Rhys Davies and Scott Rogers before Sam Smith was unleashed for his first try of the afternoon. JD with the conversion, 21-0.
Yarnbury, creaking again in the scrum, deep in their own territory, showed great composure to keep the ball and kick to clear their lines but JD was on hand to field the ball again and fed Smith down the left wing for his second. Another successful conversion by JD, 28-0.
Another push-over resulted in the 5th try, this one again scored by Morgan or TC? The reporter once again confused. I believe they got 1 each, but as they are very similar in stature, mistakes are easily made. JD nudged the extras. 35-0.
Following the re-start, the ball was excellently fielded by Tom Baines and taken straight back at the opposition. Captain David Wade, who was doing an excellent job out of position at prop, then carried the ball further. From the breakdown, the ball went out to the left via Carlisle (or was it Morgan?) in mid-field to unleash Sam Smith for his third try. JD once again on target. 42-0. Smith, with hatrick in the bag, then uncharacteristically whinged about his hamstring, so was happily benched for the remainder of the afternoon where he could graze on wine gums.
Two more scores rounded off the half. Firstly JD hoofed the ball down field after a scrum turnover and Rogers had the pace to beat the Yarnbury defenders to the ball and the pace to go all the way to the line. Then another driven maul produced the last try of the half. Retro-looking Rhys Davies claimed the touchdown. JD converted both and took the score to 56-0.
The second half started out quite scrappily and no further scores were added for 10 minutes or so. Eventually after another rolling maul, Hickling added his second score. JD missed the extras. 61-0.
Hickling then rounded off an excellent afternoon for his third team debut with a well taken hat-trick try after he managed to break clear of the defenders following more pressure from the dominant home side’s forwards. JD add the conversion. 68-0.
JD then joined Smith with the wine gums after he was shown a yellow card for alleged retaliation after a minor fracas which started after he was high tackled. The perpetrator was shown a yellow card then red due to earlier misdemeanours. This did not stop the scoring frenzy though. Next on the list was young second row Eddie Keighley who powered over from close range to record his 4th try in as many games. Fellow Second Row, Dan Benson. successfully took over the kicking duties. 75-0.
To round of the scoring, firstly Jim Bowers muscled over to take it to 80-0. Then the replacement winger Duncan Clayton-Stead got the last try of the afternoon. Benson was on target again. Final score 87-0.
1. David Wade ©
2. Thomas Carlisle
3. Thomas Walker
4. Rhys Davies
5. Daniel Benson
6. James Bowers
7. Thomas Baines
8. Morgan Davies
9. David Hickling
10. Jonathan Davies
11. Samuel Smith
12. Michael Beer
13. Scott Rogers
14. Owain Chapman
15. Edward Walker
16. Jonathan Stephenson
17. Edward Keighley
18. Duncan Clayton-Stead
Tries: Smith (3), Hickling (3), Davies M, Davies R, Carlisle, Keighley, Bowers, Rogers, Clayton-Stead
Conversions: Davies J (9), Benson (2)