The game started off fast and strong with both sets of forwards battling it out to gain the upper hand in this mighty arm wrestle. Wyke props Ryan
Kershaw and Matthew Johnston going through a lot of work in the first ten minutes, backed up by second rowers Joe Bell
and McColl Nicholson. The first try of the game came from a flowing passing move 40 yards out. The ball was shipped through both halves Ben Drennan and Matthew Dennison for Joe Bell
to throw an outrageously long ball to James Knott who showed his pace and class to run the rest of the field, round the full back and ground the ball under the sticks. Joe Bell
easily converted this try to make the score 6-0.
Wyke’s confidence grew as their forwards started making easy yards up the middle of the field. Great hit ups by both props and loose forward Shane Scrimshaw set up field position for Matthew Harrison to provide an excellent pass to Joe Bell
, running a perfect attacking line, to barge and side step three defenders and place the ball down with an outstretched arm under the sticks. Joe Bell
converted his own try to make the score 12-0.
Wyke carried on attacking the Underbank line, but they stayed strong and intact causing unusual errors from a few players. Underbank’s confidence grew as they made their way up field and after a great break from their big centre were unlucky not to score in the corner. Wyke’s scrambling defence looking good as they forced the error from the Underbank forwards.
The next time Underbank visited Wyke’s half, they gained great field position only to be let down by a poor kick and chase. Wyke’s full back, James Wain
, gathered the kick on the full. His brilliant kick return included rounding two Underbank defenders and outpacing all chasers to go the full length of the field and score under the sticks. The try was converted again by Joe Bell
to keep his 100% kicking record in this game intact, making the score 18-0.
Wyke’s attacking prowess came to light again as the Wyke forwards powered their way up field. Substitute prop Josh Saxby
showing some great promise as his drives were met by some slack and weak defending from Underbank. Shane Scrimshaw set up the next try as he showed off another one of his attributes with a great kick to the corner, Michael Barker
collecting the kick and sliding over in the corner. Joe Bell
missed the conversion this time making the score 22-0.
The last score of the first half came from prop forward Ryan
‘Boris’ Kershaw barging his way through four defenders to score close to the sticks. Joe Bell
converted yet again to bring the half time score to 28-0. Both teams returned to the dressing rooms for their half time talks by the coaches.
When both teams returned to the pitch it looked as though Wyke were going to carry on as they left off. James Knott finished off a great passing move down the line with a try in the corner. The try was unconverted leaving the score at 32-0.
However Underbank finally found their next gear and started to make advantage of a few unbelievably dubious decisions. First an unseen knock on by Underbank allowed their centre to collect the loose ball and score near the corner, the conversion missed. Score 32-4.
From the restart Benedict Barron collected the kick, he was then deemed to have placed a foot in touch. This decision contested by everyone in the stadium including a few Underbank players. The referee and touch judge sticking with their decision and Underbank took full advantage from the field position and scored again in the corner. Underbank were unlucky with the conversion to make the score 32-8.
Underbank continued attacking Wyke’s defence and it paid off when they broke the line only for Ben Barron
to make a great try saving tackle on the line. However the rest of the team were not quick enough to set their defensive line and Underbank shipped the ball across the field to put their winger over in the corner, conversion missed yet again making the score 32-12.
Wyke started to show some of their form from the first half on the field as both starting props had returned to the field and great field position allowed Ryan
Kershaw to run a great attacking line, barging his way through 3 defenders to then coast under the sticks. The conversion kick was taken by fellow prop Matthew Johnston taking the score to 38-12.
The final acts of the game were made by Underbank as they scored two tries in quick succession in the last ten minutes to leave the Wyke coaches sweating on the side lines. The final score Wyke 38 Underbank 22.
Wyke’s impressive form continued in all competitions as that took their streak to 33 games unbeaten. The league title race continues as they take on league leaders next week away at Churwell chiefs. Wyke sitting 3 points behind the leaders with five games in hand, leaving them comfortable for a run up to the end of the season.