22 August - Foresters 14-6 North Ribblesdale ----    24 August - Blaydon 34-24 Wharfedale ----

Hull Ionians 17 Foresters 33

This was a most unusual game in the way it ebbed and flowed. The first twenty minutes deprived the scoreboard operator any action, with the Foresters possibly on top but prone to several knock-ons when in attacking positions. They were not gelling as is their customary style. Slowly but surely the front row, George Altham, Jake Parkinson and Matt Freeman with assistance from locks Jack Kitching and Tom Baines wore the opposition pack down, combined with a brilliant run from new boy centre Hugh Morgan and you felt the Greens were dominant. So it proved with forward pressure enabling Kitching to score the try, conversion missed. Freeman is a rock in this pack and Morgan exciting and destined for higher things.

The backs , coming into the game more frequently, started to show their prowess. Robbie Davidson set the alarm bells ringing for Hull whenever he had the ball and Ralph Wellock on the other wing had several thrusting runs to his name. The other centre Harry Bullough looked for work in defence and attack and was very unlucky with a defence splitting break, his final pass deemed forward, a seemingly harsh decision. Half backs Jimmy Bullough, feisty with quality distribution, and fly half Luke Stevenson who provided good decision making and astute kicking provided the catalysts in attacks. From a controlled Stevenson kick the ever alert Tom Whyte went in for his usual weekly try, converted by James Druce and then the same two repeated the process a few minutes later. Not finished at this stage a great back movement, originated by Davidsons speed was finished off by Druce, who also added the extra two points. 

With half time looming and a comfortable lead of 26-0, a blemish. Harry Bullough launching one of his  long range passes had the ball intercepted allowing a Hull player uninterrupted access over the try line, converted making the half time score 27-7. The second half commenced with the visitors still dominant. Whyte proving a thorn in the opposition’s line out and back rowers Sam Smith and James Tyson having very solid games in defence and attack. Tyson another fine all-round performance, showing quality at the break down and around the fringes. One by one replacements Tom Walker, Max Bell and Ben Parkinson were introduced and to prove there is no show without Punch the indefatigable Rob Burnett graced the pitch. Prior to this with more adventurous play the Foresters increased their lead, resulting in Parkinson scrambling over for a try converted by Druce. To this point the game was very much Wharfedale’s, with forward dominance and incisive back play providing a comfortable score line of 33-7.

Up to and including the 65th minute, the Greens had remained patient and disciplined and then the wheels fell off or possibly the whole chassis collapsed. For whatever reason -memories of Mowden Park surfaced, the Greens seemed to go to pieces. We must give absolute credit to Hull for their attitude. They tore into the Foresters as if they were thirty points in front, not behind, resulting in a total lack of concentration, missed tackles, knock-ons by the visitors and capitulation and mayhem resulted, especially in the last ten minutes. In this spell the home side scored two tries and threatened to score more. This is an area the coaches will no doubt focus on, as without the correct frame of mind they will be in big trouble against sterner opposition. However due to all the hard work and graft in the first two thirds of the game , a final score line of 33-17 was probably a fair reflection on the Foresters’ overall superiority and undoubtedly a great deal will have been learned from this match, especially the latter part of it.