12:47 PM 21st August 2023
Match Report: Wharfedale 12-14 Chester
Pre-season friendlies don’t always feel like real games, but this one certainly did. Both sides showed enterprise, it was keenly fought, and the final score reflected a very close contest. Chester opened the scoring mid-way through the first half, with an intercept try to run in under the posts. Despite an injury which saw the impressive Ben Blackwell leave the field, Wharfedale ended the first period well, though without scoring.
Playing down the slope in the second half, a series of rolling mauls led to a Dale try out wide, with Ben Markey dotting down. The conversion was missed, but a few minutes later the Greens took the lead. After scrum on Dale’s 22, a precise kick-pass out wide led to full-back Ryan Hodgson running in from half-way. Robbie Davidson converted, and he followed this with a period of good kicking for field position, pinning Chester back. With five minutes to go, though, Chester fought back, and went back ahead with a well-converted try out wide.
Wharfedale Director of Rugby Simon Verbickas was impressed by what he saw:
“Our performance was a marked improvement from last week's match against Billingham. The squad's dedication during training paid off handsomely, leaving no room for disappointment. The match yielded several positive takeaways, with great performances from newcomers Ollie Riddiough at scrum-half, Alex Mounsey, Tom Doherty, Toby Mallinson and Orson Hall in the backs and hooker Robbie Collinson. Additionally, the return of Jack Pinder and Ben Markey in the back row added great depth to our lineup.
“A big shout-out to Chester for contributing to an exhilarating rugby match. Best of luck to them as they embark on their maiden season in the new division; their success seems inevitable. As for us, we now gear up for the next challenge against Blackburn. I’m eager to witness the squad's continued progress and growth on the field as we move closer to the beginning of the season.”