Wharfedale look to cheer up their fans against Hull Ionians in Yorkshire Cup

Coach Jon Feeley wants to repay fans

Tom Barrett switches to full back

First published in Sport Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Wharfedale coach Jon Feeley is hoping that his team will give their loyal supporters something to shout about in Saturday’s Yorkshire Cup semi-final.

He wants his team to repay The Avenue faithful for their loyal backing when they take on Hull Ionians.

Last Saturday’s 24-19 defeat by Blackheath was the Greens’ seventh-successive home league defeat.

Ironically, Hull Ionians were one of the teams who contributed to the record run, and now Feeley wants his men to put on a wining display.

Feeley said: “They have been magnificent. They have travelled all over the country as well as giving us great backing in every home match, so it would be nice to say thank you.”

He added: “I think it is important for us to perform well. The Yorkshire Cup gives us a chance to end the season on a high note.

“I know a lot of people have been disappointed with the way the season has gone since Christmas, but if you cast your mind back 12 months, we were still scrapping to stay up right up to the final game.

“This season we are already safe and have two more away games at Cinderford and Worthing in which we can improve on our current league position.”

Selection has been a challenge as Josh Prell and Josh Burridge are at a North of England under-20 training camp and Taylor Prell is playing for the England under-18s in Poland.

The selectors have left their second-string Foresters side undisturbed for their home match with Cleck-heaton so as to give them the best chance to win their sixth Yorkshire Merit Table title in seven seasons.

It means that it will be the first team squad which takes the field against Ionians.

Captain Chris Steel was injured last Saturday, so Matthew Beesley starts in his place while fellow Leeds Met student Jack Ramshaw starts at blindside in an otherwise unchanged pack.

Tom Barrett moves to full back, Will Bell comes in to play fly-half outside the returning Philip Woodhead, with Dan Scarbrough on the wing.

Joe Donkin, whose job has taken him to London, appears on the bench alongside Robbie Davidson, star of last season’s triumphant Wharfedale Colts side, who has been on loan to Beverley of National Three (North).

Wharfedale: Tom Barrett; Scott Jordan, Luke Peters, Tom Davidson, Dan Scarbrough; Will Bell, Philip Woodhead; Matthew Beesley, Luke Cole, Adam Howard, Alex Powell, Richard Rhodes, Jack Ramshaw, Aaron Myers, Rob Baldwin. Replacements: Neil Dickinson, Ian Larkin, Jack Barnard, Joe Donkin, Robbie Davidson.

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