WHARFEDALE’S head coach Jon Feeley is full of confidence in his troops as they head into this Saturday's game at Sedgley Park.

Despite having lost their previous four matches to Otley and trailing 5-3 to them at half-time in their National League Two North opener at The Avenue, Feeley revealed after their 15-8 victory in front of 693 fans:“We had excellent fitness levels after a great pre-season and we had the ability to come back at them.”

Another reason for the Greens’ revival was the impact of their replacements.

Wharfedale lost full-back Rian Hamilton (torn hamstring), hooker Dan Stockdale (gashed head) and lock Jim Mason (ankle injury) in the space of two minutes before the half-hour, with Sam Gaudie, Will Smith and Ben Leacock replacing them.

“That was quite a big change for us that we needed to adapt to and it took us a while to do that,” said Feeley, “but once we did the players who came on made a big difference.

“To concede only eight points to Otley is a massive plus and shows just how far our defence has come in the last year.

“They battered us and were bigger than us but our technique was not found wanting.

Feeley added: “Sam in particular brought a great deal of pace and energy to the game and he has that individual flair. He came straight out after half-time and caught them napping, making the crucial break for Matt Speres’ try.

“Sam is very able and you can see the attributes he has. He is speedy, powerful and very fit and asks questions all the time but perhaps the most pleasing point was his game management, which is what he has had to work on most.

“However, he had control of what he was doing at all times and organised people around him.”

As for Speres, Feeley said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him. He has come to us from North Ribblesdale so he has stepped up a number of divisions but his ability was always capable of coping with that.

“He is a hooker by trade but he has been so good in pre-season that we simply had to find a space for him and that is why he started for us in the back row.

“He was all over the pitch, his effort in defence was immense and in attack he seems to pop up on the shoulder (of team-mates) and create so many yards and I was really pleased for him that he got that vital try.”

As for the injuries, Feeley said: “Rian could possibly be out for a month with a minimal tear and we will wait to assess the others but I would imagine that Stockers will be fine – farmers don’t go down easily and we will stitch him up and cart him out.”

Saturday's opponents Sedgley Park began their campaign with a 30-20 victory at Preston Grasshoppers. Their four try performance gained an additional bonus point, so both sides go into the second game of the season with an opening day win under their belts.

Kick off is at 2.30pm.