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Hard-fought win for Development team at Wharfedale

11 months ago By Andy Craggs

A full-blooded encounter at Grassington could have gone either way, but the away team's heroic defence earned them a deserved victory.

Early exchanges were evenly contested and vigorous, and a home forward saw yellow within the first five minutes for over-exuberant rucking. It didn't prevent his side from taking the lead, however, as a well-struck penalty from 40 metres registered three points. The visitors had no intention of staying behind for long, and a sparkling run out of defence by fullback, Brandon Asher-Wood, set up the field position from which they went ahead, when right winger, Danny Kay, was on hand to finish off a fluent handling movement. Playing into the elements as they were, Mowden found it difficult to keep the home side from kicking to the corners, and they proved extremely resourceful in turning proximity into points. On 15 minutes, a messy line out still found its way into the home pack's hands, and a dart round the blind side found no one at home for a soft try. A superb touch line conversation allowed the home side to stretch the lead to five points, and 10 - 5 became 15 - 5 six minutes later when the visitors' defence failed to deal with a kick deep into their 22, and the left winger gleefully pounced on the loose ball for the try. Despite the rain intensifying, Mowden began to achieve more success with ball in hand, and when the pack eventually took the ball to the home line, Asher-Wood was able to force his way over from short range. 15 - 10 at halftime was a fair reflection of the way the game had gone, but with the visitors having use of the elements in the second period, hopes were high for a turnaround.

They only had to wait five minutes to get their noses in front, as a powerful carry from inside centre, Danny Parker took him through several Wharfedale tackles for a score in the left corner. Fly half, Jack Blakeney-Edwards, improved the try with a great conversion kick, and the away side led for the first time at 15 - 17. The home side seemed to lose focus for the only time in the match, and as the visitors kept pushing, a somewhat disjointed handling movement wasn't snuffed out, allowing the ball to reach left winger, Josh Murray, who dived in for the bonus point score. A failed conversion meant the score remained at 15 - 22, so the home side knew a seven-pointer would give them a share of the spoils. They set about earning it with a furious assault on the Mowden line, and as the away side resisted, substitute flanker, Alex Dunne, was unlucky to be singled out for ten minutes in the bin for what was probably a team offence. Still the visitors refused to buckle, and although Wharfedale camped within the visitors' five meter line for the remainder of the game, staunch defence prevented them adding to their score. Fittingly, the full time whistle came as Mowden turned over the home side's final attack,fully deserving their hard-fought bonus-point victory.

Updated 09:27 - 22 Nov 2017 by Tom Bulmer

Where next?

TEAM NEWS - Wharfedale v Mowden Park 2nd XV A rearranged fixture sees DMP 2nds visit Grassington for a 7.30 kick off this evening.
TEAM NEWS - Worcester Valkyries II v DMP Sharks Development XV The Sharks Development side travel to Worcester tomorrow (4.30pm Kick Off).

Sat 27 Oct
Development XV Alnwick R.F.C.
League 15:00
Sat 3 Nov
Development XV Percy Park R.F.C.
League 15:00
Sat 17 Nov
Development XV Blaydon R.F.C.
League 15:00

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