Old Brodleians 2nd XV 19-31 Wharfedale Development XV

On what was a disappointing day back at The Avenue, the Devs gave a little cheer to the fans of the green shirt with an away win against a side in the league above.

On a pitch that showed the effect of the recent weather with a slope similar to those found in the Himalayas, Wharfedale gave a performance of great heart and game management.

The Devs started up the hill, and things looked bleak when both Brods centres had crossed the whitewash from a breakaway and an interception within the first 5 minutes putting them into a 12-0 lead.

Wharfedale’s response was exceptional. Not panicking and grinding their way up the hill, the scrum lead by Matt Close and Jimmy Meehan, was completely dominant even against the conditions and this should have led to a try but the ball was knocked on over the line.

It was from a scrum just inside the Brods half that Wharfedale finally registered points. Snowden breaking from the back started a series of offloads which went through 6 pairs of hands, both backs and forwards, before Snowden himself was on hand to take the final pass and flop over the line. It was an impressive try that was applauded by both the home and away support.

Wharfedale’s second try came from a strong driving maul and after several phases impressive colt Will Lawn found a gap and grabbed himself the 5 points his performance deserved. Tthis was soon followed by another strong 5m scrum and this time Snowden made no mistake at the back to grab the Devs 3rd try and give them an unlikely lead at the break.

Changes were made at half time but this did not disrupt the Greens who added to their tally as talismanic winger Sam Smith beat his opposite number one on one and touched down to put the only patch of mud onto his shorts all day, as the other 29 men struggled to recognise each other in the quagmire.

The Devs finished the scoring as Nick Taylor, who had formed a formidable centre partnership with the returning Mark Simpson, raced away to add a fifth try, 3 of which were converted by Harris Catley. It was Brods that finished the scoring though as they built their longest spell of pressure in the game and were rightly rewarded with their 7 points.

It had been a tricky game in difficult conditions and showed how far the Devs had come and gives them confidence that, if the aim promotion is achieved, they should be more than comfortable in the league above. A huge game follows next week away at fellow league contenders Bradford Salem. Watch this space…

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