Latest articles from Ed Williams

Wharfedale scintillating in attack to blow away Harrogate

WHARFEDALE put on an outstanding attacking display to cruise past a struggling Harrogate side in a 56-18 win on Saturday.A bonus point was wrapped up by half-time, and Dale went on to double their score, with another four tries coming after the break.Wharfedale’s pack had the upper hand for nearly the whole game – only on a couple of occasions did the home side get a nudge on. The movement in the backs was excellent; orchestrated by Star Man, Jack Blakeney-Edwards. Scrum-half, Omari Kaup-Samuels, also had a very good game and is developing into a very good number nine for the men in green. His distribution was, as usual, consistent and he also threatened from the break down and kept the Gate back row on their toes. Harry Bullough had one of his best games at 15; scoring one try and setting up another, for Rian Hamilton. He was a constant threat from the backfield. Jon Feeley commented after the game: “It was a really terrific performance and much deserved for the hard work we’ve been putting in during the week. “After the Huddersfield win we reviewed the areas we were successful in and were honest about where we needed to improve. “This is a young group who have that ambition and drive to continually raise expectations. Our skill levels, pace of play and clinical finishing were decisive and then the strength of our bench was important in maintaining the relentless pressure. “Too many standout performances to single players out, but terrific for Beau to get on the scoresheet and perform so well on his full senior debut. He came to my attention during a colts game, his character and mental resilience marked him out as future first team player and it’s great to see that now happening”.Oliver Cicognini also had a very good afternoon and his break set up the first Dale try for Bullough. Rory Macnab got Gate on the scoreboard with a penalty before Bullough’s deft kick was collected by Hamilton to score.  The pack then joined in and a driven line-out led to Josh Burridge crashing over. Blakeney-Edwards added the two points.Harrogate managed a second penalty from Macnab and Blakeney-Edwards kicked two for Dale. The last try of the first half epitomised Dale’s all-team approach with many players involved and Joe Altham touching down for a converted try to leave the score 28-6 at the interval to the visitors.The style of play continued after the resumption. Dale won a line-out on half way and good hands took the ball up to Gate’s 22. Three phases later Kaup-Samuels made a break and Elliot Stockton was on hand to finish the move. Stockton still had work to do and he “cleaned the windows” of the last defender to make the line for a converted try.Wharfedale were not perfect in their execution all afternoon and a bit of loose play in their own 22 gave Gate an attacking platform. Tim Heaton benefitted and broke through for a try which Macnab converted. No let up from the visitors who were soon camped in Gate’s 22. Again, positive play from a line-out led to a Ryan Carlson try superbly converted from the touchline by Blakeney-Edwards. Ben Blackwell then added Dale’s seventh try after more good work by a host of players. Beau Verity took over the kicking duties and equalled Blakeney-Edwards effort from the touchline.  Oliver Cicognini finished the scoring to take Dale’s tally to 56.