Scunthorpe 27 Wharfedale 26
SCUNTHORPE dominated the forward battle but Wharfedale's backs managed a rousing finish to grab two bonus points.
The four tries the Greens scored at least eased the disappointment of failing to record their first National Two North away win of the season.
This was the third time they have been beaten by a single point on their travels, but this was different to the narrow reverses at Hinckley and South Leicester.
This time it was Wharfedale who finished strongly against a tiring home side who were relieved to hear the final whistle.
When Wharfedale reflect on the game they will focus on the concession of too many scrum penalties to be able to compete and a poor afternoon in the line-out.
The tackling was also weak at times and there were handling errors that halted progress.
Wharfedale had started well against their relegation-threatened rivals.
They made good use of shaky ball from a scrum with Full back Harry Bullough joining the line and creating the chance for strong-running winger James Tincknell to score from a clever inside pass. Tom Barrett’s conversion made it 7-0.
It looked a perfect opportunity for Wharfedale to eat into the fragile confidence of struggling Scunthorpe, but they failed to seize the initiative.
Instead they gifted Scunthorpe the restart and then watched helplessly as, second row David Garbutt, took an inside ball and ran to the line.
The next 25 minutes were dominated by the Scunthorpe pack. Oliver Cole crashed over and a penalty try was also awarded. Adam Middleton's two conversions stretched Scunthorpe's lead to 19-7.
Only poor handling prevented Scunthorpe from establishing an even more commanding lead.
Starved of possession Wharfedale found it hard to utilise their flying backs, but in the last play of the first half an excellent handling move created space for Josh Prell to score.
The second half was a similar affair. Slow but effective work from Scunthorpe grinding forward and then moments of elan when Dale had the ball.
The Green Machine again started well but they squandered a golden scoring opportunity with a handling error and were punished as a Jake Barron try and a Middleton penalty seemed to have put the game beyond reach for the visitors
At last Dale woke up and brought something of a smile to the large group of travelling supporters. Forwards and backs combined in an exhilarating move that saw George Hedgley touch down.
Barrett slotted the extras before being on the end of another dashing move for the bonus-point try and his conversion closed the gap to one point. Two bonus points were an amazing reward that seemed unlikely with ten minutes to go.
One man who showed tremendous versatility throughout the game was Adam Howard. During the 80 minute he featured in all three back row positions as well as having spells at loosehead and tighthead prop.
Wharfedale H Bullough, Jordan, Guy, T Davidson, Tincknell, Barrett, J Bullough (Prell 12min); Close (Swainson 22min), Stockdale (Poole 52min), Asejevs (Larkin 36min), Hedgley, Rhodes (Borrill 32min, J Kitching 71min), A Howard (R Rhodes 52min), J Kitching (T Asejevs 65min), L Wilson