THE TENACIOUS FORESTERS
The score tells you that this was a tight match and so it was. Firstly credit to Michael Harrison for arranging a new fixture against Newcastle University, one of the top University sides in the North, they proved extremely tough and worthy opponents.
The Foresters turned out a strong side, including dual registered players, Max Wright at centre , Jordan Poole at hooker and Dan Tai who plays on the wing. The rest of the squad comprised well established Foresters and others who were continuing recovery after injury. The referee was Chris Sharpe.
Very rarely does this team go for thirty minutes with no score on the board and this happened due to the defences of both sides and the difficulty in separating respective merits, as Newcastle and the Greens were well matched. Newcastle did in fact throw away a golden opportunity when, with an overlap looming, the visitors managed to kick ahead, unfortunately into touch when a score appeared on the cards. Equally the Greens could perhaps have been more decisive with the rare opportunities they were presented with, on one or two occasions backs not releasing when chances came.
During this period, Will Bell kicked well, constantly sending the opposition hordes back to their own half and the game went from end to end without the try lines being breached. All tackled well and this throughout the game was the crucial and determining factor that resulted in the Foresters victory. Ably led by Tom Whyte, the starting pack consisting of Ricky Cano, Jake Parkinson, Joe Altham, Alex Powell, Simon Borrill, Anthony Oxley and Alistair Allen, all performed sterling duty and before the half time whistle, had started to gain some domination over the Newcastle forwards, although it had to be said that the visitors were winning the ball at the breakdown.
The Greens backs were starting, before half time, to produce decisive attacking movement with Max Bell at scrum half, Matt van Sertima and Wright in the centre, Josh Prell and Ralph Wellock on the wings and the reliable James Druce at full back. This passage of play of course helped due to the forwards now certainly getting on top and following good work by the pack and a good movement along the backs a very good and well worked try set up by Whyte was scored by Wellock. The conversion was narrowly missed.
Just before half time, due to the aforementioned forward dominance, the Foresters were awarded a penalty which was duly converted by Druce thus giving the home side an interval lead of 8-0, with the prospect of playing to the river in the second half. The rugby had at certain times been a little frantic but Wharfedale were starting to look solid. The prospects for the next phase of the game seeming sound.
However, you never know in sport what`s around the corner and so it proved. Borrill was red carded, a decision which created much debate in the bar afterwards and suddenly the pressure was back on to the Greens. This is where the home team showed their tenacity and their often displayed attitude of “they shall not pass” came to bear. Tackling like demons, well assisted by all the replacements who came on, Newcastle were repelled constantly and everyone in the squad deserved praise for the effort shown. In the replacements, Tai looks fairly nippy.
Still not out of danger though, further problems arose when Rhodes was yellow carded for a tripping offence and the Foresters played out the remainder of the match with thirteen men. Once again this they did valiantly. And all in all it was a richly deserved victory against a strong, forceful ,attacking team who will be welcomed to Wharfedale at any time. A good, enjoyable game appreciated by all. The Foresters look strong with still one or two injured players on the side lines.
Team :- James Druce, Ralph Wellock, Matt van Sertima, Max Wright, Josh Prell, Will Bell, Max Bell, Ricky Cano, Jake Parkinson, Joe Altham, Alex Powell, Simon Borrill, Anthony Oxley, Tom Whyte (c), Alistair Allen.
Replacements :- George Altham, Jordon Poole, Joe Jackson, Jack Kitching, Morgan Davies, Nathan Myers, Dan Tai, Oli Fewtrell, Will Davidson, Andy Rhodes, Will Lawn.