Over the years the Foresters have experienced matches where their superiority has resulted in large score victories. These, fortunately, due to the new league formats, do not come up as often as they used to and so it is quite unusual to report on a match containing such an emphatic score line.
Driffield are lanquishing at the bottom of the league but gave their all in attempting to combat a second team recognised throughout the North as one of the strongest you could encounter. All credit therefore to Driffield for sticking to the task for the full 80 minutes and we hope and wish that their fortunes improve.
Wharfedale turned out a strong squad with eight players having first team experience just to further emphasise the task assigned to the opposition. The front three were Nick Atkinson, Jake Parkinson and Mike Bradshaw, the latter showing up particularly well. The second row involved captain Rhys Davies and Simon Borrill, who also had a strong influence on proceedings. In the back row Jack Kitching stood out, ably assisted by Jim Bowers and Nathan Myers. Oliver Whyte at fly half is showing signs of developing into a very useful player, assisted today by the driving force of scrum half Jimmy Bullough, returning from injury.
In the first half the Foresters scored at regular intervals. The first try came, yet again, from the incorrigible Jake Parkinson who went in after a strong driven line out. The conversion was missed but the Foresters had an immediate 5-0 advantage. Parkinson is beginning to become the “go to man “ with his general momentum. Next came a try from Josh Prell after excellent continuity and several well worked phases led to a score far out on the right hand side of the field. Oliver Whyte now taking over the kicking duties converted excellently.
A clever try came next when Jimmy Bullough, using his experience, broke on the blind side of the scrum, and started a sequence of interchanged passes, the ball finished back with Bullough who duly scored. The try was again converted by Whyte. 19 – 0 and already worrying signs that the flood gates could easily open but Driffield defended manfully and refused to throw in the towel, even though they must have realised they were seriously up against it. The Greens line out was working well and from one such procedure Rhys Davies took a clean ball and majestically carried himself over to add another five points, which were converted by Whyte. Before the half time whistle came another good passing move involving both forwards and backs gave the opportunity for Jack Kitching to finish things off with a good try which was converted by Whyte. Half time and a convincing lead for the Greens with a score of 33-0 to their credit.
The team as a whole and the backs in particular did attempt all the way through the match to play good open attacking rugby in very testing conditions and credit to them for that attitude. Full back Joe Slater with wing men Ben Parkinson and Josh Prell were forever looking for the opportunity to run the ball, Prell looked dangerous at all times and centres Tom Davidson and Mark Simpson showed a similar attitude. Davidson had a good solid, industrious game.
The first try in the second period came from another good line out catch and drive. The ever alert Davies eagerly grabbing the chance to again show his try scoring ability and Whyte showing again his kicking prowess with another conversion.
Further good work from the forwards when Borrill grabbed the opportunity to claim a scrappy Driffield line out, and breaking upfield, fed the pursuing Bradshaw who sped through at pace from 15 metres to touch down. The kicking duties, now with Andy Rhodes but he unluckily missed. Determined to keep the Parkinson name to the forefront, Ben Parkinson took the chance to show his speed when a Driffield kick upfield allowed him to returnfrom whence it came, and score another try which was converted by Rhodes. Not to be out done Prell scored a similar but unconverted try but this time wide out on the left wing. Driffield were now seriously under the cosh. The usual inclusion of replacements added to the Foresters power and the following all came into the game at various stages to add to the Greens quality of players available in the squad: – Tom Jackson, Joe Metcalfe, Andrew Rhodes and Sam Stockdale. All did well and emphasis must be placed on the value and quality of the Foresters bench.
The Foresters completed their scoring with Jack Kitching pouncing on a five yard scrum drive, once again illustrating how the Wharfedale pack had gained total ascendancy by this time. A final score of 60-0 and a very well deserved all round team performance .Further mention of Driffield and their attitude in general. The Wharfedale players would do well to remember harder games lie ahead and not to take their foot off the pedal. The management team, with stalwarts John Metcalfe and Robbie Burnett, also had the welcome sight of Chris Howick assisting and it was good to see him in this capacity.
Team: – Nick Atkinson, Jake Parkinson, Mike Bradshaw, Rhys Davies (c), Simon Borrill, Jim Bowers, Nathan Myers, Jack Kitching, Jimmy Bullough, Oliver Whyte, Josh Prell, Mark Simpson, Tom Davidson, Mark Simpson, Joe Slater.
Replacements :- Tom Jackson, Joe Metcalfe, Andrew Rhodes, Sam Stockdale.