WHARFREDALE finally returned to winning ways as they cruised to a 22-3 victory at home to Blaydon on Saturday.

The conditions were poor and in what was a scrappy game, the hosts did well to come away with the win.

There was a minute`s silence before the game to honour Chris Baker and June Wear, both long-time servants of the club.

The game started with a knock-on from the Blaydon’s kick-off, and this was the first of many handling errors. It gave Blaydon a toehold in Dale territory but they could not capitalise. A long kick from the returning Tom Davidson pinned Blaydon back in their 22. Dale opened their account with a Robbie Davidson penalty after 15 minutes which was scant reward for the possession they had had.

The Blaydon restart was collected safely and passed to Tom Davidson who sent play deep into Blaydon’s half. Blaydon won the line but spilled the ball to give Dale an attacking scrum. More pressure followed without crossing the line. Eventually the pressure told and from a line-out the forwards drove over with Matt Speres being awarded the score. Robbie Davidson missed the conversion.

Josh Walters scored Dale’s second after good work from the forwards from another attacking 5-metre line-out. Davidson added the extras to give Dale a 15-0 lead at half-time. The first half ended with Dale again back with a 5-metre line-out but this could not be executed properly, and Blaydon gave themselves a pat on the back for keeping the score to only 15 points.

The second-half opened with a mistake from Blaydon and Dale again pressing in Blaydon’s 22. With a scrum penalty advantage Dale moved the ball right and got close to the line.

Another penalty was awarded for a high tackle on Sam Gaudie; quicksilver Gaudie tapped and had scored before the Blaydon defence realised what was happening. Davidson landed a superb conversion from wide out to the right and into the strong wind.

Dan Marshall kicked a penalty for Blaydon to put them on the scoreboard and to finish the scoring.

Dale did create chances but could not get over the line. One of the best chances was a run by Matt Speres who got very close, but Dale did not have the numbers in support to carry on the attack. Minutes later Henry Macnab split open the defence but again the chance to score was missed.

The hosts were able to see out the remainder of the tie in comfortable fashion and get a first win since November- a vital one at that.

This Saturday, it’s another trip to South Yorkshire for the Green Machine as they travel to take on Rotherham. The visitors will be looking for revenge after Rotherham claimed a 29-23 victory at Dale last time out, while the opportunity to claim back-to-back victories for the first time since September presents itself to the North Yorkshire side.

The Foresters' game with Blaydon 2 was postponed at the weekend and is in line to be rescheduled for a date further down the line.