Following on from the hard earned Boxing Day victory over North Ribblesdale the Wharfedale second string returned to league action in the first fixture of Yorkshire Premiership Conference A which features the top six sides from the pre-Christmas Yorkshire Premiership which the Foresters claimed after winning all ten fixtures.
The first 15 minutes were a scrappy affair with neither side in the ascendancy, this was until fullback Josh Prell broke the deadlock. Following a couple of driven line outs by the forwards the ball was worked wide to the right where Prell gathered the ball and had to work hard to fend off and skip by the Phoenix covering defence to cross the whitewash, conversion missed.
This seemed to kickstart the Foresters into more positive action and another try soon followed by skipper Tom Whyte who hit a good attacking line off Ben Parkinson’s shoulder to cross under the posts, converted by Rory MacNab.
A third try was scored by prop George Martin who emerged from under a pile of bodies following a driven line out, conversion missed.
The bonus point fourth try followed when lock Jacob Taylor crashed over wide on the right following a good series of phases and hands by backs and forwards, conversion missed.
The fourth try seemed to make the squad relax and Phoenix came back into the game and they finished the half strongly scoring a converted try, half time 22-7.
Some strong words must have been said at half time oranges by the coaching staff as the Foresters came out of the blocks sharply with second row Jacob Taylor grabbing a second try after carrying well from 22 yards out to go in under the posts, converted by Rory MacNab.
Following the good start a period of stalemate resulted in too many soft penalties by the Foresters and a converted try by Phoenix.
From the restart Phoenix committed a couple of needless penalties which were exploited by scrum half Will Lawn who broke from a quick tap 15 yards from his own line and a good interchange of passes with replacement Will Bell resulted in the latter crossing wide out on the left, conversion missed.
The final score was a hat-trick completion by Taylor who scored wide out following good carrying by prop Jack Hirst, well converted by Rory MacNab.
The match fizzled out with scrappy play and a slight bit of niggle but all in all a win is a win and a positive start to the campaign.
Foresters squad: – 1. G Martin, 2. J Parkinson, 3. J Hirst, 4. J Taylor, 5. J Mason, 6. J Fawcett, 7. T Whyte (c)
8. J Metcalfe, 9. W Lawn, 10. R MacNab, 11. E Gill, 12. M Bell, 13. B Parkinson, 14. S Mason, 15. J Prell.
Replacements: – 16. A Stubbs, 17. G Altham, 18. S Booker 19. W Bell.