WHARFEDALE claimed their first win in three attempts to overcome Preston Grasshoppers at home on Saturday, with the Green Machine eventually running out 31-21 winners.

With three games remaining of the National League 2 North campaign, Dale find themselves in 4th place which, if they hang on to, will represent a strong season for the boys in green.

Saturday saw the hosts play some accurate rugby before the break to lead 19-0, but a spirited Preston second-half display ensured the hosts wouldn't run away with the contest easily.

From kick-off the visitors received the ball and tried to run the ball out of their 22, however, mistakes were made and the home side were gifted a lineout on Preston’s 22.

Dale opened the scoring in the third minute with an unconverted try by Jack Pinder after good work by the forwards. The visitor’s poor start continued when the kick-off was put straight into touch.

After ten strong phases Robbie Davidson scored Dale’s second of the game after some strong passing between the backs saw space open up on the right wing for him.

Louis Verity sent the ball to Sam Gaudie who fired it wide to Davidson and he made no mistake in finishing the move, while he also converted the try from the touch line.

Errors were creeping in to the game and there was a real lack of fluency to the play, albeit the conditions were poor.

The visitor’s discipline began to break down and the referee was on hand to penalise their players. Dale added to their tally with a penalty try after a superb catch and drive was pulled down on the line. Hoppers' number eight earned a yellow card.

At the start of the second half the Green Machine moved a catch and drive from 12 metres out, and with the defence stuck in the ruck, Ollie Riddiough saw the space and dashed for the line for an unconverted try.

From the restart the Greens forwards and backs combined to move the ball down field which ended with an attacking line-out. Ben Patchett peeled away and had the power to drive over the line. Davidson converted.

Then Preston came to life. First Jake Pope scored with Edward Keohane converting. The second try was scored by Ciaran O’Donnell, and again Keohane added the extras. There was now some urgency in the visitors' play and minutes later Harvey May touched down for their third converted try before Dale then closed the game out.

Dale now have a break over Easter before returning in April to take on Billingham (a), Huddersfield at home and finishing off the season with Lymm at the Avenue.

Wharfedale's team against Preston: Hodgson (Viner 63); Davidson, Coulton, Cicognini, Gaudie; Verity, Riddiough (Prell 55); Dickinson, Patchett (Collinson 53), Armstrong (Meehan 50), Stockton (Green 32), Hedgley (c), Pinder, Markey, Beresford.