Wharfedale Development XV 27 – 19 Bradford Salem 2nd XV

Aire Wharfe Cup Quarter Final

A substantial home support and numerous travelling fans from Bradford Salem welcomed the teams both vying for a place in this year’s cup Semi-final. Wharfedale had had the better of recent results against Salem but were still aware that this is cup rugby and anything can happen and that Salem knocked the lads in green out of the cup at the first round last year.

Wharfedale started with promise and chose to attack with plenty of width with full back Harris Catley and others making good inroads into the visitors defence. A couple of good scoring chances did go awry though as the final pass didn’t quite make it to hand. Despite this the home side were to register the first score after winger Otto Mallalieu-Black went on a typical run to score a try in the left hand corner. The tricky conversion was missed but we were 5-0 up.

Salem then applied pressure of their own deep in Wharfedale’s 22. The home side were playing a little nervously and tried to run the ball out of trouble and a wayward pass was then read by the Salem centre and who scored an easy converted try. 5-7.
Back came Wharfedale, but another attack was thwarted by a knock on. At the following scrum, the agricultural front row contingent of the Close brothers and the increasingly useful Joe Jackson awoke to the challenge and bulldozed their way through the Salem scrum and won a penalty. The ball was kicked to the corner and a well drilled driven maul saw Jack Kitching claim the try. 10-7.

Salem then scored next to re-take the lead. After a period of pressure, they cut through the centre to score near the posts and take the score to 10-14 at half time. In the half time talk, Wharfedale knew that they needed to compete better at the breakdown and too many missed tackles were costing us, hopefully this could be rectified.

Wharfedale, inspired by their managers’ half time drivel and Tom Wareings constructive criticism, started the second half brightly. Now dominant at the scrum, a Salem put in spilled out the side, which Will Lawn scooped up and set off. He passed out to Mallalieu-Black who nearly beat the remaining defenders but then found flanker David Wade on his inside to score for a well-deserved try. Veteran centre Jonathan Davies couldn’t add the extras but we had the lead again. 15-14.

Wharfedale then extended their lead after a driven line out over on the far left of the pitch was claimed again by Jack Kitching only for the referee to signal held up to the surprise of the spectators. His nearby touch judge soon corrected his error and the try was awarded. 20-14 to the hosts and a bit of daylight was opening up.

Salem then had a sustained period of time in the host’s 22 and made significant inroads into the Wharfedale defence, but committed tackling and excellent discipline forced enough pressure for Salem to make an error. Substitute hooker Tom Carlisle pounced on the loose ball to secure possession then the ball was fed wide to bullocking winger Sam Smith who made good yards up the left wing. Jack Kitching continued the move further then at the resulting ruck, the ever aware scrum half Lawn spotted a gap in the defence and broke blind on half way and had enough pace to go the distance. Catley added the simple conversion and we were 27-14 in front.

As the match was drawing to a close, Salem, who were never going to give this one up easily, piled the pressure on the hosts and eventually crossed for their third try of the evening. Their rushed conversion attempt went wide much to the relief of the management who’d run out of fingernails and the lead remained at 2 scores. 27-19. Time was now virtually up and after a few more exchanges, the referee blew for full time.

Team: _

1. Matty Close
2. Ian Close
3. Joe Jackson
4. James Ardron
5. Morgan Davies
6. Jack Kitching
7. David Wade
8. Matt Wareing
9. Will Lawn
10. Marcus Farnworth
11. Scott Rogers
12. Mark Simpson
13. Jonathan Davies
14. Otto Mallalieu-Black
15. Harris Catley

Subs: –

16. Tom Carlisle
17. Dan Benson
18. Andrew Bode
19. Tom Wareing
20. Sam Smith

Tries: Kitching (2), Mallalieu-Black, Wade, Lawn

Cons: Catley

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