Otley 5 Wharfedale 64
Wharfedale wrapped up their preparations for the start of the National League One season with a convincing win at Cross Green on Saturday.
Otley were the brighter side in the opening 15 minutes and justifiably went ahead when good handling led to a score wide out on the left by Jack Scott Paul which Stephen Depledge failed to convert.
Wharfedale’s early play was littered with mistakes and it was a while before they settled into the game.
When they did, swift handling from Richard Rhodes put newcomer Cameron Hudson in for a try on the right.
Tom Davidson landed the difficult conversion to give his side a 7-5 advantage Wharfedale scored two more tries before half-time with former Otley lock Simon Willet and Harry Bullough getting their names on the scoresheet. Davidson added both conversions.
Wharfedale had the advantage of the wind in the second half and began to play some fine rugby.
Their handling was much slicker with the backs and forwards combining well to exert pressure on the battling home side.
From a scrum on the home 22, Rob Baldwin – another former Otley player – surged forward and opened up the defence sufficiently for Davidson to score a try.
Wharfedale were now in control of the game and good teamwork brought a try for prop Adam Howard, converted by Davidson.
Dale’s next two tries were inspirational. The first involved Bullough running a good line to create the opening which resulted in a score for hooker Dan Stockdale.
The second came after Josh Prell danced out of defence and found the rampaging Joe Altham who set up a second try of the game for Hudson Altham scored a deserved eighth try for his team before Scott Jordan skipped, swerved and dodged his way to a splendid solo effort.
James van Sertima rounded off the scoring from a sublime Alex Powell pass. Now the serious business is about to begin.