A much changed Wharfedale Foresters side from their last fixture a fortnight ago started off where the others finished off the victory over Huddersfield.
Playing down the slope with the autumnal breeze at their backs, the Foresters tried to play some expansive rugby but the visitors defence stood firm in the early exchanges until a sloppy bit of play by Brodleians coughed the ball up in midfield. The Foresters forwards then played a couple of phases. The backs then with simple hands created an overlap for the resting No.8 Morgan Davies to rumble in from 20yds in the left hand corner. On a difficult day for kicking Jack Johnson missed the tricky conversion.
A brief period of sloppy play and cheap penalties gifted Brodleians territory and pressure. This was rewarded with a penalty and a converted try allowed them to sneak into a 10-5 lead.
Back came the Foresters with phases of good play with backs and forwards carrying to the heart of the Brodleians defence and creating a chance for a penalty. The shot at the posts was spurned and following a good kick by Johnson to just outside the 5metre line the forwards took their chance to shine with a clinical line out and drive for Morgan Davies again to cross the whitewash. The conversion was missed.
Turning round with the wind at their faces the Foresters knew that control of the ball would be paramount but within the first five minutes of the half it was Brodleians that were in the ascendancy until the ball was turned over. A couple of quick passes located lock Simon Borrill in space. He used his stride length and pace to gallop in from 60yds showing the Brodleians’ fullback a clean pair of heels as he went in under the sticks. The try was converted by Johnson.
The Foresters mobile pack had taken control in the set piece by mid-way through the second half and their work from Thursday scrum sessions was beginning to show. Following on from two reset scrum penalties the pack drove forward to give Morgan Davies the simplest of touchdowns to cement his hat-trick. The conversion was missed.
Thinking the job was done the Foresters switched off for a while and allowed Brodleians to come back into the game and score what looked to be a gift of a try with some poor defending. This was converted to leave the score at 22-17 with ten minutes to play. A grandstand finish was in store for the watching faithful. This proved to be the case with the Foresters pressurising the Brodleians line with a repeat of the Foresters bonus point try. Morgan Davies again touched down following a couple of scrum penalties. The conversion was missed making the final score 27-17.
The watching coaching staff and supporters all commented that it was a tough encounter but the Foresters controlled the ball well into the stiff breeze.
All 16 available players played their part in a full blooded encounter.
Team: – 1. George Altham, 2. Jake Parkinson, 3. Tom Jackson, 4. Rhys Davies (c), 5. Simon Borrill, 6. Elliott Stockton, 7. Oliver Snowdon, 8. Morgan Davies, 9. Rory MacNab, 10. Jack Johnson, 11. Adam Stockdale, 12. Max Bell, 13. Jordan Annett,14. Eddie Gill, 15. Sam Arkwright, 16. Joe Jackson