As a contest this game was over very early on. Blackheath took full advantage of Dale’s attempts to run out of defence when a driven line out resulted in a penalty try being awarded after 1 minute.
Dale’s second possession ended up with an isolated player being held up and Blackheath given the put in. A penalty soon followed and the Blackheath 8 used the rolling maul efficiently and an unconverted try for Dave Allen was the result.
Blackheath made a rare mistake from the kick off and gave Dale an attacking line out which was won. A grubber looked dangerous only to be pulled back for a Wharfedale player to be penalised for offside.
Blackheath were kicking the ball with good effect and pushing Dale back deep into their own half. One series of kicks however turned into a good attack from the Greens which was only halted when Josh Prell was squeezed into touch. This was Dales best period in the first half.
Good tackling was holding the Blackheath attacks and the scrum was strong and Dale were winning their line outs. The period ended with Tom Davidson missing a long range penalty.
Club sent the 22 drop out long and were rewarded when Dale players got in each others way.
Strong tackling seemed to have rescued the situation and forced a turn over. The possession was squandered and, having committed players to attack, a hacked ball from a Blackheath player was followed up by No 4, Tom Bason, leading to another try which Gallagher converted.
Blackheath constructed the next try 4 minutes later with good combination play between backs and forwards and despite resolute tackling from centre Matt van Sertima. Gallagher again added the extra 2 points.
Dale were still trying to put phases together and moved the ball to an attacking line out only 10 metres from Club’s try line. Possession was again squandered and poor defence led to a Blackheath scrum in Dale’s 22! Wharfedale cleared the ball to half way and another Heath mistake gave them the line out. Dale won the ball and then a lazy pass in midfield allowed Richard Windsor an easy interception and Club’s fifth try of the half. The conversion ended the half with Blackheath leading by 33 points.
The second half started with Dale in possession and a promising move ended with a poor pass. Blackheath then worked the ball through the phases and , despite some resolute tackling, pushed Dale back into their 22. A slick break was made by Gallagher which led to his own converted try. More pressure led to 2 yellow cards for Wharfedale, one, to Tom Burridge, for a technical offence the second, to brother Josh Burridge, for foul play. Another try soon followed to make the score 0-45.
This seemed to be a signal for some of the home players to wake up and Dale started to gain a foothold in the game. Blackheath somehow lost their composure and also had a player sent for a 10 minute rest.
From the ensuing penalty Dale kicked to touch, they just won the line out and determined drives from the forwards were rewarded with Simon Willett crashing over. Tom Davidson failed to convert.
Blackheath again were penalised just after the restart. Davidson’s attempt to put the ball deep failed but Jake Armstrong’s follow up caused mayhem and a thumping tackle gave Dale the put in on Club’s 10 metre line. Forwards and backs took it in turns to run at Blackheath whose man extra counted for nothing as Chris Howick scored Dale’s second try which Davidson converted.
Blackheath scored their 8th try when Tom Bason was allowed to gather the ball in Dale’s 22 and have a clear run for the line.
Dale continued in much the same vein, some moments, some players doing good things but the mistakes were there. The crowd, who had been quiet for most of the afternoon, did try and get behind the players during the second half. One positive comment after the game from quite a few was “It didn’t rain”
Wharfedale: Scott Jordan; Josh Prell, Matt Van Sertima, Tom Davidson, Oliver Cicognini (Robbie Davidson 50); Luke Stevenson, James Doherty (c) (Jimmy Bullough 72); Matt Beesley, Ian Larkin (Dan Stockdale 19, Adam Howard 50), Jake Armstrong ( Simon Willett 68), Simon Willet (Jim Mason 57), Richard Rhodes, Tom Burridge, Chris Howick, Josh Burridge.