National Two North

Hull Ionians 20

Wharfedale Foresters 12

by John Utley

WHARFEDALE lost to Hull Ionians on a perfect day for playing rugby at Brantingham Park.

Wharfedale had to make three late team changes, with Will Edwards replacing Will Bell, Matt Houghton replacing Dan Stockdale and Ben Leacock replacing Richard Rhodes.

The first half saw both teams strive for supremacy with Wharfedale edging the possession and territory but unable to break down a stout Ionians defence.

The only score in the half came in the 29th minute when Wharfedale were penalised for not releasing and Lewis Minikin slotted the resulting penalty making the half-time score 3-0.

The second half saw Ionians use the slight breeze to kick for territory but this only resulted in Wharfedale keeping possession and running the ball back at them.

In the 54th minute, Wharfedale opted for a scrum five metres out after being awarded a penalty, the ball was spun wide for Rian Hamilton to touch down for a well worked try. They missed the conversion, making the score 5-3.

On 59 minutes, whilst a Wharfedale player was having treatment, James Ticknell made a good break and off loaded to Toni Kuku who went over in the corner for a try. Minikin converted from out wide to make it 10-5.

Wharfedale piled on the pressure with a long period of possession, when a kick over the top resulted in a race to the line which Hamilton won to touch down. Tom Mann kicked the conversion to make it 12-10.

Then in the 67th minute, disaster for Wharfedale, an intended dink through a ruck of players was intercepted and Minikin, who raced from his own half to score under the posts. He converted his own try to make the score 17-12.

At this point Ionians grew in confidence and kept possession, resulting in a penalty for a high tackle which Minikin converted making the final score 20-12.

A battling performance that saw some excellent play from both backs and forwards, the pick being Sam Gaudie and Josh Burridge with Rhys Lovegrove and Harry Bullough looking to make a good centre partnership.

However it was disappointing for the third time in a row to be in a winning position in the second half yet lose the match.

Wharfedale: Tom Mann, Rian Hamilton, Harry Bullough, Rhys Lovegrove, Oliver Cicognini, Will Edwards, Sam Gaudie (Will Lawn 77), Joe Altham, Matt Houghton, Reece Ward, George Hedgley, Ben Leacock, Chris Walker, James Tyson, Josh Burridge

Replacements not used: Sam Booker, George Martin, Tom Jackson, Josh Prell