Wednesday 24 April - Wharfedale 3rd XV v Ilkley 2nd XV (A) KO 6.30pm -------    Saturday 27 April - Wharfedale v Lymm (H) KO 3.00pm ---- Foresters v Sandal 2nd XV at West Leeds RUFC KO 3.00pm ......

Wharfedale 39 Chester 22

Another cracking game of rugby at the Avenue was won by Wharfedale by 6 tries to 4. Dale opened up where they left off last week away to Sheffield and raced into a 19-point lead. Chester rallied and began to get into the game but Dale were not to be caught and were worthy winners.

Chester took the kick-off and kicked down field. The ball was run back by Dale who went through 4 phases, gaining a penalty advantage for a high tackle, before a sublime Louis Verity pass saw Madison Hunting break through. He gave the scoring pass to Rhys Green and Tom Mann added the extras.

Chester’s restart was taken by Dale and a high kick from Henry Macnab was followed up by Verity who forced a knock-on. Dale won the scrum and Macnab sent a kick into Chester’s 22. Sam Gaudie followed up and forced the Chester full-back, who had caught the ball, into touch. Wharfedale attacked again from the line-out in Chester’s 22 and this time the ball was spread left and, with another penalty advantage, Oscar Canny got close to the line. Then with the defence napping Macnab popped down the blind-side for an unconverted try.

Dale were soon on the attack again. The restart was knocked-on by Chester. The Green Machine won the scrum and attacked from deep. Gaudie came in from the right wing to create an extra man. This created a gap which Tom Mann exploited. Mann sent a grubber through for Canny to run on to. Canny was pulled down just after he nudged the ball forward. A Yellow Card was issued to Chester’s Ben Ivory as this was in the 22 and a possible try scoring opportunity. The third try came from another Verity pass which allowed Josh Walters to run for the line. Mann was accurate from the tee.

Indiscipline by Dale saw Chester get a foothold in the game and an attacking line-out. Chester went through 21 phases in Dale’s 22, the only reward was a Yellow Card to Dale’s Simon Borrill. Borrill`s offence was a high tackle. Dale seemed to have weathered the storm and a break out went unrewarded when what looked like a scoring pass to Gaudie from Walters was adjudged as forward. A Wharfedale player questioned the referee and a penalty was given. The referee seemed to be engaging the player in conversation and the player responded with a polite “No way”! Another penalty soon followed and more back chat took Chester into Dale’s 22.

Eventually they spread the ball right for an unconverted try by Gethin Long. Mann answered with a penalty straight from the restart after another trade mark Hunting jackal. More penalties against the home side kept Dale in their half. Another series of forward moves from Chester enabled them, eventually, to score a second unconverted try by Liam Reeve. A late attack from Dale was halted by Chester slowing the ball down but at half-time the score was Wharfedale 22 Chester 10.

Chester started the second half with some more carries from their forwards without reward. It was ended by another Hunting jackal. A break by Ryan Carlson was followed up by Walters whose kick into Chester’s 22 forced the defence to kick for touch and give Dale an attacking line out. An efficient catch and drive ended with a held-up decision and a drop-out by Chester. The drop-out was fielded by Macnab; the ball passed through the hands of Ryan Hodgson and Gaudie to Walters on the right wing. Josh Walters seemed trapped in the tram-lines but left the Chester defence in his wake with good speed and footwork.

Wharfedale made the game secure with tries from Ryan Carlson and Ryan Hodgson. Mann converted the last one to give Dale a 39 – 10 lead. Chester fought back and scored through Kyle Joseph and Sean Green with Reeve converting Green’s try from the touchline.

Man of the Match, Tom Mann, commented after the game “A great game today to finish off my long playing career with Wharfedale. Playing in the sun and getting a 5-point win. It’s the end of playing in a Green Shirt since I was 5 years old, I’ve been here at this great club every season since. I’m 24 now and work commitments and a move to Barnard Castle mean my time here is done. Hopefully the move to a new job works out for me and I hope Dale keep pushing on. So, that’s the end of it. Cheers.” All at the club wish Tom all the best.

Wharfedale Mann; Gaudie, Walters, Cicognini (c), Canny; Verity (Hodgson 40), Macnab (Prell 60); G. Altham (Beesley 45), Manning, Dickinson (Hirst 68), Borrill, Hedgley, Smith Jnr (Carlson 40), Green (Smith Jnr 74), Beresford

Wharfedale travel into Lancashire on Saturday for their last game of the season. Preston, like Wharfedale, enjoy playing an open style of rugby on their 4G pitch so it should be another entertaing game of rugby. Kick off is at 3pm.

Fabulous TeamBurridge Photos to follow…

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