The Foresters began this game in 2nd place in the Yorkshire Merit Premiership with the best points scoring record and the meanest defence in the league. Their opponents lay just behind the men in green in 3rd place and the team from The Avenue were expecting a tough encounter.
However, The Foresters had one of their strongest line-ups of the season, with a full squad to choose from and three first teamers, returning from injury, on the bench.
Receiving the ball uphill from the kick-off the Wharfedale side were soon in their stride and on the scoresheet with the backs combining to provide winger Eddie Gill with the opportunity to score in the corner after only 3 minutes.
Approximately 77 minutes later Eddie had scored a hat-trick, normally a momentous event, but he was not alone, with his fellow winger, Josh Prell, also crossing the whitewash three times. In fact The Foresters scored 14 tries and ran, literally, out winners 90 points to 7 in a try-fest of an afternoon.
Their performance was built on solid foundations with the forwards dominating up front through an excellent set piece and hard driving play, led by second rower Jacob Taylor. The front eight gave scrum half Will Lawn quick ruck ball throughout the game and he relished the opportunity to release Wharfedale’s exceptional backs whilst keeping Morley’s defence on their toes with a number of incisive, sniping breaks.
The forwards also enjoyed themselves with ball in hand. Elliot Stockton, Jacob Taylor, Joe Fawcett and Captain Tom Whyte all scored tries and Max Bell and Kristian Sharples in the backs joined the hat-trick heroes in the backs with scores of their own.
This was a complete performance from The Foresters, they excelled in all attacking areas of the game and defended stoutly against a big hearted Morley side that never gave up and did score a try of their own.
The returning first teamers, Tom Asejevs, Richard Rhodes and Ben Sowery all got game time and came through unscathed but had little impact on the score. This was the Foresters at their best and Head Coach John Metcalfe was even seen to smile(ish) momentarily.
Normal service will be resumed and the mean Metcalfe scowl will back on in training this week as the team face their toughest test of the season, away against league leaders Sheffield Tigers.
Whilst they are playing exceptionally well at present the Forester squad know they can’t take anything for granted as the Development XV showed character and class to beat a strong Huddersfield YMCA team 27-12 on the back pitch.
Forester’s Finest (Man of the Match) Jacob Taylor… a bullocking performance that constantly put Morley on the back foot and gave the backs fabulous front-foot ball.
Wharfedale squad: – 1. Jack Wells, 2. Jake Parkinson, 3. Sam Booker, 4. Elliot Stockton, 5. Jacob Taylor, 6. Sam Smith, 7. Joe Metcalfe, 8. Tom Whyte (c), 9. Will Lawn, 10. Will Bell, 11. Eddie Gill, 12. Max Bell, 13. Ben Parkinson, 14. Josh Prell, 15. Kristian Sharples.
Replacements: – 16. Ben Sowrey, 17. Toms Asejevs, 18. Richard Rhodes, 19. Joe Fawcett, 20. Rory MacNab.