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Wharfedale 31 Old Elthamians 21
Wharfedale RUFC ,
photo by Ro Burridge
Wharfedale U18 vs Old Elthamians U18
RFU National Colts Final

Neutrals, looking at the two teams warming up for this final, could have been forgiven for thinking they were about to witness a mis-match.

The Old Elthamians side, containing players in the Saracens Academy and other top London outfits, were physically massive compared to Wharfedale’s colts. But the Green Army, which had travelled in force down to Worcester, knew from experience that size would be not be everything.

photo by Ro Burridge
Old Elthamians found this out for themselves within ten seconds of the kick-off, when Maddison Hunting’s mobility and superb jackaling technique won him a penalty, and gave Dale an early lead.

Old Elthamians responded to this early set-back brilliantly, off-loading to give scrum-half Jacob Buckley a fine sniping try. Converted, this gave the Londoners a 7-3 lead after 5 minutes.

Within two minutes Dale had restored their advantage – Hunting slicing through the heart of the Elthamians defence to create space out wide for Tom Doherty to fly in on the right wing.

The crucial phase in the match came mid-way through the first half. After a period of Elthamians pressure, Hunting was yellow carded.

photo by Ro Burridge
Down a man, and defending their own line, Wharfedale not only kept the opposition scoreless for the next ten minutes, but gradually moved up field.

No sooner were they back to fifteen men than a sublime feint from Louis Verity put Oscar Canny through under the posts. The Londoners came straight back with a converted try from impressive wing Jed Hamilton. At half-time Wharfedale held a 15-14 lead.

Throughout the game Wharfedale’s instinct was to attack. Although this did not always yield direct results, the indirect result became clear at the start of the second half.

The sizeable Elthamians pack started to tire, and despite a huge weight advantage, were time and again pushed back in the scrum.

With Elthamians out-muscled up front, out-run in the backs, and out-thought around the park, it was only a matter of time before Dale’s advantage began to tell.

First a penalty in front of the posts put them four points up. Then a sniping run from scrum-half Henry McNab put a speedy Owen Bullock in on the wing.

photo by Ro Burridge
Replacement wing Jordan van Beek was unlucky to have a try ruled out in the corner, but moments later the Dale pack drove through Elthamians to give them a 28-14 lead with 6 minutes to play.

The Green Army in the stands was showing a similar dominance in decibels, but they were momentarily silenced by a second fine try from Elthamians’ wing Hamilton. Wharfedale calmed their supporters’ nerves by playing out the remaining minutes on the attack.

The final act of play led to a Dale penalty, and a final scoreline of 31-21. Credit to both sides for a game played with tremendous verve and in a great spirit.

However tempting it is to single out names from this Wharfedale team, that would be to miss the point. They are a team.

Obviously it has been superbly coached, and obviously it includes remarkable individual talents, but ultimately the team’s great success has come from their strength as a unit.

In an age when rugby players move from club to club, this group of lads has been together for over a decade. If they were still together in another decade, and still in green shirts, these Colts might even form a team to surpass the one their fathers played in.

photo by Ro Burridge
For the time being, they should take honor in having made a great Wharfedale team, and having won a distinction of immense pride for the club as a whole. National champions.

15.Ryan Hodgson, 14.Owen Bullock, 13.Tom Russell, 12.Oscar Canny,
11.Tom Doherty, 10.Louis Verity, 9.Henry Macnab (c), 8.James Robinson,
7.Jack Pinder, 6.Omari Samuels, Kemp, 5.Joseph Myers, 4.Finlay Brewster, 3.Sam Dickinson, 2.Madison Hunting, 1.Frank Watkinson,

16.Ben Patchett, 17.Rob Lancaster, 18. Jack Thompson, 19.Harry Driver, 20.Chance Marsden, 21.Nick Brewer, 22.Jordan Van Beek

Report by Simon Ravens

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Wharfedale 29 Peterborough Lions 0
Wharfedale 38 Stourbridge 24
Wharfedale 12 Huddersfield 17
Tynedale 27 Wharfedale 21
Wharfedale 14 Fylde 13
Sheffield Tigers 20 Wharfedale 22
Wharfedale 5 Chester 24
Leicester Lions 37 Wharfedale 10
Wharfedale 44 South Leicester 20
Macclesfield 13 Wharfedale 34
Wharfedale 24 Hull Ionians 12
Otley 16 Wharfedale 8
Wharfedale 20 Hinckley 33
Sedgley Park 20 Wharfedale 15
Wharfedale 18 Tynedale 3
Fylde 20 Wharfedale 17
Wharfedale 26 Sheffield Tigers 35
Match Report: Chester 28 Wharfedale 25
Wharfedale 34 Leicester Lions 30
South Leicester 19 Wharfedale 22
Wharfedale 35-25 Macclesfield
Stourbridge 37 Wharfedale 27
Wharfedale Rugby 39 Points Vs Preston Grasshoppers 22 Points
Wharfedale Lose Tight Match
Wharfedale 14 Otley 16
Hinckley 33 Wharfedale 24
Wharfedale 26 Sedgley Park 19
Match Report: Wharfedale Foresters 24 Pocklington 13
Match Report: Peterborough Lions 12 Wharfedale 26
Match Report: Wharfedale 17 Rotherham Titans 12
Match Report: Wharfedale 30 Macclesfield 21
Match Report: Tynedale 22 Wharfedale 24
Match Report: Wharfedale 44 Hinckley 19
Match Report: South Leicester 27 Wharfedale 16
Match Report: Wharfedale 24 Sedgley Park 31
Match Report: Wharfedale 6 Sale 20
Match Report: Wharfedale 14 Tynedale 33
Match Report: Sheffield Tigers 0 Wharfedale 16
Winning Run Ends In Lions Den
Match Report: Blaydon 14 Wharfedale 30
Wharfedale 31 Old Elthamians 21, 7th May 2019, 9:51 AM