A mild, dry and virtually wind-free Boxing Day saw the traditional Wharfedale versus North Ribblesdale rugby fixture at The Avenue.

Wharfedale claimed the spoils in both games, with their Foresters beating North Ribb’s first XV 20-9, then the thirds claiming a 34-7 home win over the visitors’ second-string.

A huge crowd of over 800 people witnessed two fiercely contested games played in the true spirit of rugby.

This was the third of Wharfedale’s centenary anniversary events and it provided a great opportunity for the club to show support for two causes close to the Craven district heart, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

The day also provided the chance for each of these to join in the fun and raise some much-needed funds.

Admission for the event was free, with a donation to the joint charity fund in lieu.

Those attending did not disappoint on that front, with almost £4,500 being raised to be shared between the two causes.

The Wharfedale club chairman, John Sykes, was quick to praise everyone involved.

He said: “We set out today to support two very important organisations that we hold very dear as a club, give the boys a run out and provide a great day of support for the Craven folk.

“The effort and support of all involved and everyone who attended has been beyond magnificent.

“I think we can modestly claim success on each and every count as well as today being a brilliant social occasion for the Dales community.

“Credit to North Ribblesdale players, staff and supporters too, who played a huge role in ensuring the success of the day.”

Rugby gets back underway for Wharfedale’s first team on Saturday, January 13, when they host Tynedale at Threshfield in National 2 North, with kick-off at 2pm. 

Wharfedale currently sit fourth in the league, looking to continue their progress from finishing 12th in the 2021-22 season and eighth in the 2022-23 campaign.