Late score sees Greens clinch win over rivals

This most intense of local derbies certainly lived up to its billing providing an excellent match, a furious contest, a dramatic finale and an ecstatic final-minute victory for the home side as Wharfedale confounded many critics to claim a fully-deserved victory.

For the Greens did far more than merely eventually overhaul their visitors; they outplayed them, mastered them up front and their final try, despite its late timing, had an air of inevitability about it.

The visitors looked comfortably placed at the break, two tries to the good as a result of their superior pace wide out on the left.

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First, Chris Briers went over and then, after 25 minutes, scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe found himself clear. Chris Johnson converted both and added a penalty.

Wharfedale’s sole reward was Christian Georgiou’s penalty though some fine scrummaging near the line deserved better.

Having found they now had the measure of Fylde defensively, Wharfedale’s second-half forward play grew in confidence.

Fine scrummaging indirectly produced two early penalties for Georgiou which reduced the deficit to 16-9.

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Spearheaded by their excellent captain Rob Baldwin, the Greens added pressure in the loose to their set-piece dominance and creative back play produced runs from Joe Donkin and Simon Horsfall. A fine sweeping break from deep by Georgiou ended between the posts for an easy conversion and the Greens were only a point adrift.

An upright saved Fylde from Georgiou’s penalty attempt. Fylde escaped upfield with some neat possession play but seemed almost to tire themselves out.

Wharfedale worked themselves downfield and pressure near the line brought Chris Howick a try from a maul as the home side sealed a deserved win.