Match Report: Wharfedale 32 Luctonians 22
Wharfedale RUFC ,
With the score at 23 - 5 at half time Dale were in control of the game and deservedly so.
Luctonians came out in the second half and battled their way back into the match closing the gap and giving the home side supporters a few jitters. Dale, unlike their previous two matches, managed to hold on to their lead and ran out worthy winners at 32-22.
Luctonians scored four tries so went home with a point, it would have been two but for a last kick from Wharfedale's Tom Barrett which meant they did not get the losing bonus point. As it was they outscored Dale by four tries to two.
Tom Barrett's boot, with three drop goals, two conversions and three penalties, brought his personal tally to 22 points. He might have been the Star Man but for the excellent work of Phil Woodhead and George Hedgley around the park.
George Hedgley got the nod in the Rugby Paper not just for his own work during the afternoon but to represent the immense work done by the pack.
Dale were given territorial advantage from the kick off when Luctonians could only clear to just outside their 22. Hedgley rose for the ball and the pack drove on and set up Tom Barrett for his first drop goal.
Dale took the restart and exited well but were pinged on half way after a good chase. Dale easily won the line out and again exited well but again the follow up only led to another Luctonian penalty.
The Greens again won the line out and exited well making the visitors attack from deep. All they could do was to force a line out on Dale's 22.
Tom Whyte secured the ball and again the exit was carried out.
A box kick from Phil Woodhead was followed up by Robbie Davidson and when the massed ranks arrived a mistake was forced. This was such a relief from previous games when the exit was poor and territory and possession too easily given away.
Minutes later Barrett had a kick to touch from Dale's 10 metre line. With his boot working sweetly he sent the ball deep into Luctonian's 22.
The pressure eventually told when the pack, from another clean line out drove the Midlanders back and Burridge crashed over for the try. Barrett stroked the two points.
Dale did give away possession from a line out just after the restart but soon won the ball back and Jamie Guy sent a towering kick deep into Luctonian's 22.
Great follow up work from Harry Bullough, Scott Jordan and Tom Davidson earned Dale another attacking line out.
This time Dale were penalized for transferring the ball, after Tom Whyte's clean take, without making contact.
Dale were soon on the attack again and an audacious dummy from Phil Woodhe4ad gave him the space to race into the visitor's 22. Unfortunately, he could not find his support and decided to chip ahead but the ball just ran dead.
Luctonian's then had their best period of the first half, which eventually saw Louis Silver scoring wide to the right.
Barrett kept the scoreboard ticking over with his kicking before a Tom Whyte turnover lead to another touch kick from Barrett.
Burridge secured the line out and the backs were let loose. Clever work from the back line with Tom Davidson used on a dummy run and Scott Jordan appearing in the centre gave space for Harry Bullough to round his man and reach the line.
Luctonians opened the second half with two tries. The first a penalty try which was converted by John Morris; the second by Alex Smith after 28 phases in Dale's 22.
A catch and drive led to Luctonians bonus point try with Joseph White being awarded the score. Barrett's accuracy from the tee and out of hand however kept Dale ahead and gained Wharfedale a valuable victory.
Wharfedale Harry Bullough; Robbie Davidson, Tom Davidson, Jamie Guy, Scott Jordan (Josh Prell 72); Tom Barrett, Phil Woodhead; Joe Altham, Dan Stockdale (Tom Whyte 41, Dan Stockdale 69), Toms Asejevs (James Huck 65), Adam Howard (Ian Larkin 77), Richard Rhodes, George Hedgley, Tom Whyte (Jordon Poole 40), Josh Burridge (c). Replacement not used Jimmy Bullough.
Photos by Ro Burridge
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Match Report: Wharfedale 32 Luctonians 22, 30th January 2017, 13:28 PM