1st XV
Sat 17 Feb 2024  ·  National League 2 North
Tries: R Collinson, L Verity, R Davidson, J Burridge, O Cicognini, B PatchettConversions: R Davidson (3)Penalties: R DavidsonYellow Carded: J Armstrong
Hull Ionians RUFC
1st XV
Tries: A Forth (2), L PowellConversions: L Minikin (2)
Wharfedale 39 v 19 Hull Ionians

Wharfedale 39 v 19 Hull Ionians

Malcolm Knowles19 Feb - 16:06
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Heavy traffic holds up I's

Apologies to those who have waited patiently for an account of Saturday’s fixture, I can report to those who watch 24 hours in A&E that in real time it is much less entertaining and has little, if anything, to commend it.
In the interim I am sure young Brad’s popular but infrequent narrative will have kept everyone entertained. There is also a version of events involving the 1st team on the Wharfedale website. My! I didn’t appreciate just how good the “Green Machine” were until I read it.
Anyway, on to Saturday’s events at Threshfield.
The hosts took first use of the slope and immediately pressed Ionians back into their 22. ‘dale created an opportunity to score, only for poor handling to see the chance go begging. Still penned in their own half, I’s infringed at the breakdown, presenting Rob Davidson with an early pop at goal and he duly obliged from distance but right in front of the posts. 3 – 0 up within five minutes.
Wharfedale continued to dominate possession and they put another penalty to the corner. A catch and drive was finished off with a try by hooker, Robbie Collinson. Davidson was wide with the conversion but it was a confident start from the home side and an ominous one for the visitors.
Just how confident was soon apparent; Wharfedale were held up over the line following some good interplay, the drop -out found Rob Baldwin who thundered down the hill and into the heart of the Ionians defence. He was downed and it looked as if Ionians had re-gained possession at the ruck but they were then driven off the ball and skipper Verity was on hand to plunge over.
It took almost twenty minutes but Ionians were eventually able to get some possession and ground their way up into to Green’s red zone. They spend all of five minutes pounding at the try line, split only briefly when they were penalised for holding on and Wharfedale cleared up field, but they were unable to crack a resolute home defence. During this incursion Ionians lost the services of influential skipper James Sanderson.
After absorbing the pummelling Wharfedale made the most of a scrum, awarded after Ionians had knocked the ball forward. Rob Baldwin broke from the base of the scrum and combined with centre Cicognini to put Josh Prell away. He skipped past his marker, before racing away in front of the stand filled with appreciative home support. As the cover came across, Prell found Davidson up in support and he finished the length of the field break by dotting down under the posts, to give himself the easiest of conversions. That took the score to 20 – 0 with just over half an hour played.
Ionians, thanks to some grafting performances from the pack, (Gascoigne, Hudson and Powell catching the eye) navigated their way to the break without further mishap.
The influence of the slope was apparent early in the second half. Ionians won a penalty and drilled the ball down into bottom corner. A good throw was secured by the reliable Joe Makin and Ionians got the drive on for Ally Forth to peel off the back of the maul and slide over close to the corner flag. Lewis Minikin was just wide with the conversion but it was a useful marker.
Wharfedale grabbed the bonus point try in the 51st minute, having subjected Ionians to ten minutes of manful defending. Ionians had a chance to lift the siege but failed to make touch and Josh Burridge, on the field for barely a minute, supported the initial run to power his way to the line.
A series of penalties took the visitors back down into the bottom corner and Ally Forth grabbed his second try when he threw an underarm ball to Sam Edwards, took the return pass and crashed over. Minikin used the sighter from his previous effort to slot an excellent conversion from the touchline. Ionians had cut the deficit to 25 -12.
Ionians then had a let off when George Hedgley was allowed to gallop free up the middle of the field, he was pulled up just short of the line and lacking support was penalised for holding on, allowing Minikin to clear down field.
On the hour mark it looked as if Ionians may be running out of steam as Wharfedale claimed a fifth score. Oliver Cicognini threw a dummy that you could have bought in Poundland and sailed through to score. Davidson goaled to push the lead to32 -12.
Ionians got a second breath and worked their way back down into the favoured corner. The line-out was won and the ball was moved in field for Lucas Powell to assault the line. He was tackled but Sam Pocklington gathered and sniped to within a couple of metres, where he found the ever-willing Powell and popped up the pass for him to dive over. Minikin stroked over the straight forward conversion and, with ten minutes remaining, the visitors went in search of a bonus point try.
It wasn’t to be. In the closing minute Ionians were penalised for a high tackle and Davidson drilled the ball into touch. The Greens took clean ball and drove over for a final try to Ben Patchett.
Having seen the result of Wharfedale’s fixture the previous week Ionians would have expected little from this game. In truth, there was little to choose between the sides. Wharfedale had the confidence of league position and played without the burden currently weighing down upon Ionians.
Their endeavour probably deserved a point but they need to cut out the errors and improve their enterprise if they are going to claim the four or five points they need so they can claw their way clear of Billingham.
Next week it is Lymm at Brantingham Park. It is also President’s day and, let’s hope, it’s I’s day. See you there.

Match details

Match date

Sat 17 Feb 2024




National League 2 North

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Hull Ionians
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