Wharfedale play full part in Roses thriller

Craven Herald: Former England player Dan Scarbrough dives over for a try for Wharfedale Buy this photo » Former England player Dan Scarbrough dives over for a try for Wharfedale

Wharfedale 26, Fylde 36

Considering the hype before the game and the pressure on the sides to get a result, this very competitive SSE National League One game was a tribute to both sides’ willingness to carry on playing an open style of rugby.

The Dale supporters will spend the gloomier Christmas but they should not be disheartened by this performance. A bumper crowd was treated to a fantastic game of breathtaking rugby.

Fylde’s director of rugby, former England coach Brian Ashton, said after the game that both sides played with a lot of ambition and the only disappointment was the number of yellow cards produced. Wharfedale at one stage were reduced to 12 men against 14!

The game was played at great pace, with Fylde outscoring Dale by five tries to two and running out worthy winners, leap frogging them in the table and earning five points.

Wharfedale used the slope to good advantage in the first half, with their pack dominating the setpiece and being rewarded time after time with a penalty.

This gave leading points scorer Tom Barrett two chances, which he converted.

A breakaway try put Fylde on the scoreboard but good interplay by the forwards and backs led to two converted tries from Wharfedale.

The first was created by looping play and great line running, which was finished off in fine style by Christopher Georgiou.

The second was created by the forwards and led to a stroll in for Dan Scarbrough. A late penalty by Fylde’s Chris Johnson meant Wharfedale won the first half 20-10.

Fylde coach Mark Nelson, who refocused his team at half-time to such an extent that they dominated play for most of the half, said: “it was their “most competitive game all season. No quarter was given.

The result could have gone either way. We took our chances to get to the line and score.”

Tries from Simon Griffiths, Evan Stewart, Ollie Brennan and Joe Robinson gave Fylde a deserved double.

Wharfedale, with only 13 men on the pitch did close the gap to 29-26 before Robinson’s try sent the Lancashire crowd home in a happy mood.

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