IT was late heartbreak for Wharfedale on Saturday as Rotherham snatched a 29-23 victory at the death.

A home victory for Dale would have seen them draw level on points with their promotion chasing counterparts, but Rotherham had other ideas-a quick break resulting in a winner on their last attack.

It was Dale who got off to a flyer, with Tom Mann striking a long-range penalty into the wind to put the hosts 3-0 up, however, a break from Jack Hedley was instantaneously finished off by Sam Veall to provide Rotherham with the lead.

Rotherham then pressed again and after 15 phases switched the ball left for Jack Taylor to squeeze over in the corner. An excellent conversion from Richard Hayes gave them a deserved nine-point lead, and he extended their lead further from the tee after his side were awarded a penalty.

Mann notched another penalty before Wharfedale hit back with pressure of their own and a try on the stroke of half time from Josh Prell. Mann’s conversion left Dale trailing by two points.

Dale started the second half with an audacious catch and drive, and it paid off as Matt Speres plucked the ball out of the air to crash over for the home side. There was no conversion but Dale were now in the lead following a brilliant fightback.

The visitors attacked and soon had an attacking five metre line-out. Simon Borrill came tantalisingly close to driving the ball over the whitewash; however, it didn’t stop Rotherham from pushing forward. Their persistence finally paid off as Zakery Poole stormed over for a converted try.

Dale absorbed some more pressure but managed to clear their lines; Josh Prell coming very close to catching an interception and breaking away. The knock-on gave Rotherham the put-in on half-way; always a danger as scrum penalties were becoming a bit of a lottery. Despite going backwards Dale were awarded a penalty. A great touch from Mann gave Dale an attacking line-out seven metres from Rotherham’s line.

Another catch and drive from Dale came close to the line, but the ball was then spread left and Zakary Robbie Davidson’s offload sent Prell over for a second score. There was no conversion but Dale were back in the lead.

A last-minute penalty from Rotherham hit the post and Dale seemed to have survived as they gathered the rebound. Somehow Rotherham snaffled the ball and after ten phases Sam Veall crossed in the left corner for a converted try, which gave Rotherham a dramatic victory.

After the fixture, Wharfedale Head Coach, Simon Verbickas, said: “I’m devastated with how the match ended. Controversial decisions cost us territory and possession.

“I’m devastated for the players as they had played their hearts out and left nothing on the pitch.”

Rotherham Head Coach, Adam Byron, said after the game: “I have just said to the boys that you can’t bottle that sort of feeling, obvious elation when you win a match two or three minutes into extra-time. I couldn’t be happier with them for the way they stuck in. They all know there are aspects of the game that we need to work at and improve on but that kind of feeling at the end and the spirit they showed to stay in the game; I’m proud of them all.”

Wharfedale have a weekend off next week before taking on Tynedale at the Avenue on Saturday October 15, KO (3:00 pm).