WHARFEDALE No 8 Rob Baldwin was as delighted with their seven tries as he was by shutting out Otley during their 41-0 derby victory at Cross Green on Saturday in National League Two North.

“We didn’t expect it to go our way as much as it did out there,” confessed Baldwin afterwards.

“We expected a physical encounter from Otley, which is always the case, but things didn’t quite go their way and they didn’t get momentum.

“It was a really pleasing performance. We only scored two tries in the first half but got the third and fourth quickly after half-time and Otley’s heads started to drop a bit, which played in our favour.

“Our driving maul went well for several of our tries, and Robbie Davidson put us up there with his kicks. We knew once we had them down there there was an opportunity for us to score tries.”

Baldwin added: “We left a couple of chances out there in the first half (Wharfedale led by two unconverted tries at half-time), but that was a fair reflection of how the game was.

“However, we knew that we had plenty in the tank for the second half and we just needed to do what we needed to do.

“Once we got the four-try bonus point, we relaxed and played how we wanted to play. As a team we have more in our armoury than we have ever had. We know that we can defend, but we can score from anywhere.”

As for the head injury to Otley replacement George Bowen in the second half, which led to a 14-minute-stoppage, Baldwin said: “It is never easy seeing one of your own players injured and maybe that worked in our favour.

“Sheffield are in third now, 13 points ahead of us and we are in fourth but we have a game in hand on them so we are certainly looking to move up a slot over these last nine games.”

Wharfedale are at home to 12th-placed (third- from bottom) Hull Ionians on Saturday, and Baldwin said: “It is a chance to right a few wrongs as we had a shocker over there (losing 36-23 in October) and wrote the day off. We need five points from it.

“But it has been a massive help being able to get a consistent side out as we are now seeing partnerships develop, such as in the centres, and we also have one of the best defensive records in the division.”

The match was watched by a season’s-best Otley crowd of 529.