Wensleydale travelled to Skipton at virtual full strength. Welcoming back all the world cup spectators to the squad. The world cup has been a great spectacle but its done our senior teams no favours whatsoever.
Selection this week was made far easier following the Burley win, keeping the same team with only Phil Scott- Priestley unavailable being replaced by Tom Lawson at number 8. Preparation for this weeks game was excellent and hopes were high of pulling off a victory against a club whos record against us has been excellent over the years. Dale made a fantastic start with the forwards taking control of the ball on halfway and setting up a driving maul. Fly half Mike Bentham received the ball on the blindside and his miss pass sent left winger George Pearson at pace into the corner. Only a couple of minutes later openside Wes Patersons support running earned himself his first try for the club. Centre Scott Hunter slotted the conversion, 12 -0 after only 10 minutes. Skipton replied with a try after several minutes of pressure during which Dale had a couple of chances to clear their lines. A home centre received 2 yellow cards for dangerous tackles before the half was over. As so often happens when teams are a man down Skipton raised their game, thankfully Dale kept them out.
Into the 2nd half and with a strong bench available Dale again attacked strongly with replacement back rower Sam Blackburn brought down illegally only a few yards short of the line. A blooded Blackburn had to leave the field to be cleaned up. Skipper Will Allman opted for a scrum put in from where Laws picked up and popped a pass to his scrum half Paul Smith to dot down. With both teams looking to move the ball wide at every opportunity the game flowed from end to end. The extra man helped Dale to stretch the home defence leading to a try for replacement centre James Ascough.
Dale then lost prop Dan Peck to a yellow after entering the ruck leading with his shoulder. Skipton lifted themselves and ran in a good try, 22 - 12. Back to the full compliment and Smithy found space to weave a way through for his 2nd try of the game. The hosts weren't to be outdone and again brought the deficit to ten. In the last few minutes Dale took control. Skipton did work ball up field only to lose control, Smithy flyhacked away, Blackburn, back on and raring to go, chased and picked up. With the cover heading across he passed inside where 2nd row Tom Mundy gathered off balance, steadied himself before feeding James Blood who didn't require the huge overlap, Scott converted. Final score 34 - 17.
A well deserved win for Wensleydale against a good team. Won 3 lost 3, 17 points and 5th in Yorkshire 4.
No game on world cup final day followed by a run of games up to xmas. Cant wait.