Wharfedale RUFC 14 Jersey RFC 32
Jersey silenced a noisy home crowd with a clinical second-half
display that left them comfortable and deserved winners.
For all the differences between the clubs, Ben Harvey's men
relished the chance to play at this picturesque rugby outpost and
take on the sort of passionate support they have behind them for
home games at St Peter.
Sensing a chance to bring down the league leaders and avenge a
sound defeat in the teams' first meeting, the Yorkshire folk turned
out in good numbers for the day's biggest National One crowd and
the largest at Threshfield this season.
Whipped up by an idiosyncratic announcer who has to be heard to
be believed, the crowd roared their team onto the pitch, and by
2.02pm the volume was louder still: flanker Dan Solomi took
advantage of a defensive lapse at a ruck and burst straight through
for an opportunistic try, his 12th of the campaign.
Stunned into action, Jersey moved up the pronounced slope and
opened their account when a rolling maul rumbled towards the line
and Nathan Hannay completed the move, embellished by Ross
The lead was to change hands five times in the first half, the
next occasion thanks to Dale fly-half Tom Barrett's snap drop goal,
before an easy penalty shot for Broadfoot following an offside
Tom Davidson landed an imperious 47-metre penalty to put
Wharfedale back in front at 11-10, but this was his only success
from four attempts, helping Jersey stay in touch. Barrett nailed
another drop-kick and Broadfoot his second penalty, but some home
fans were already ruing their failure to turn pressure into
Just a point behind, the Islanders emerged fired up after the
interval and turned the screw with a prolonged spell of early
pressure. This culminated in Dale being driven off their own
scrummage ball and the ball was spun wide for Ashley Maggs to
Both sides made changes, with Chris Levesley embarking on
another lively stint for Jersey and Neil Dickinson, 25 years his
senior, joining the home front row.
Barrett could have reduced the arrears during a rare visit
upfield but missed another attempted drop-goal, and soon afterwards
the Jersey pack engineered another dominant platform for the men
outside, Donovan Sanders' one-handed flick giving James Copsey the
time and space to speed over.
More used to attacking down the slope in the second-half, Dale
struggled to make headway against the Jersey tide. Kicking wasn't
the answer, as was graphically illustrated when Jim Brownrigg
fielded a clearing punt 35 metres out and set Levesley tearing
infield towards the posts. When brought down, the youngster managed
to offload to Sanders who fed Kingsley Lang for the bonus-point
Harvey used all five replacements, including a debut for James
Gethings and outings for the loyal squad men who'd sat alongside
him, but with the exception of one modest dust-up, the tempo of the
match dropped during a scoreless final 14 minutes.
Player-Coach Tom McGee admitted the missed kicks had been
costly, but praised his side's energetic opening.
"I got what I wanted with good field position and solid defence,
but after half-time we spent too much time on the back foot and
against good sides that hurts you."
Jersey's Player-Coach Ben Evans was pleased with his side's
"Wharfedale are a passionate side, far better at home, and it
was a potential banana skin - every team wants to beat the league
leaders. But we weathered the storm, the game plan which we hadn't
adhered to in the first 40 was reinforced at half-time, and our
attitude was excellent in the second half."
Evans paid tribute to the efforts of the pack, especially his
"Myles [Landick] and Dave [Felton] are great young players,
really growing in stature, and I'm proud to be playing alongside
Wharfedale: L Gray; S Jordan (J Tincknell 13),
D Hart (capt), T Davidson, S Horsfall; T Barrett, P Woodhead; J
Altham (N Dickinson 55), B Sowrey (S Graham 69), T McGee; R Rhodes,
J Quinn; R Brown, D Solomi, A Myers. Unused subs: T Wareing, W
Jersey: Myles Landick (Russell Holland 77),
Dave Felton, Ben Evans (James Gethings 69), Jim Brownrigg, Nathan
Hannay, Graham Bell (capt), Kingsley Lang, Nick Trower (Charlie
Clyde-Smith 74), Dave McCormack (Brendan O'Brien 57), Ross
Broadfoot, Ed Dawson (Chris Levesley 55), Donovan Sanders, James
Copsey, Ashley Maggs, Glenn Bryce.
Wharfedale - Try: Solomi 2; Penalty: Davidson
22; Drop-goals: Barrett 15, 34.
Jersey - Tries: Hannay 8, Maggs 48, Copsey 62,
Lang 66; Cons: Broadfoot 8, 48, 66; Penalties: Broadfoot 17,
Kickers: Davidson (Wharfedale) 1 from 4
(place-kicks), Barrett (Wharfedale) 2 from 4 (drop-kicks);
Broadfoot (Jersey) 4 from 5
Man-of-the-Match: Nathan Hannay
Report by Tom Innes, reproduced by kind permission of the
Jersey Evening Post.
Pictures from Wharfedale will be published in the 'Gallery'
section later in the week.
Graham Holland was one of the Jersey supporters
who made the trip to Yorkshire. Here's his account of the day:
The trip north gave us our first sight of snow this season,
but fortunately the pitch was clear and in good nick. With its
backdrop of snow-covered hills this has to be the most picturesque
The Jersey side showed a change from the programme with
Stevie missing the trip, but Kingsley Lang is an able replacement.
Young Chris Levesley was on the bench along side new signing James
Gethings. The home side included a couple of returning players and
they were raring to go.
The friendly locals welcomed us into the stand and the
banter was fierce as Wharfedale favourite Dan Solomi raced through
unopposed to score in the first minute. A fairly easy kick was
missed giving us some hope. 5-0.
Jersey started to put their forward pressure to good use and
Nathan was too strong for the home defence as he barged his way
over. Ross took the extras. 5-7.
Dale then had a bit of possession without threatening the
try line before stand off Tom Barrett's speculative drop goal
attempt flew over. 8-7.
Both side swapped pens, Ross for us and Dale's Tom Davidson
putting over a fine long range effort, before Barrett kicked
another drop goal. 14-10.
Good Jersey forward pressure forced a Dale error at the
breakdown and Ross put the pen over to take us into the break only
a point down at 14-13. Dale had obviously wanted to get points on
the board whilst playing downhill, hence the drop goals and only
some indifferent place-kicking from the home side kept the margin
low. I felt confident that Jersey would steamroll down the hill in
the second half.
The steamroller started up straight away and after a
dominant Jersey scrum on the Dale 22 the ball was worked out to
Maggsie who went over in the corner then gained some ground nearer
to the posts to present Ross with a good chance for the extras.
Jersey made a couple of changes with Chris Levesley and
Brendan O'B coming on and the intensity of the game increased to a
level that Dale found hard to cope with. Brendan was clearing the
ruck at pace and direct running from Chris, Donnie and
Copsey was keeping the home side on the back foot. As the pressure
built another try had to come and Copsey scored in the corner. Ross
kicked just wide of the posts for his only miss of the game.
Wharfedale didn't give up and the game was quite
competitive, with most of the action taking place just
inside the Dale half. The Jersey forwards held the upper hand and
it was no surprise when Kingsley Lang capped a good performance by
scoring the bonus point try. Ross made the kick. 14-32.
Jersey used the final 15 minutes to rest some of the
hard-working forwards (Big Ben, Mylo and Barrel), and give some
game time to the boys on the bench. The new guy looked the
Final score 14-32. A good game to watch and a good game to
win at a hard venue to visit. All the Jersey boys played their
part, a great team effort with Man of the Match Nathan Hannay
literally head and shoulders above the others.
29 Sep 2023
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