Manchester 23 Wharfedale 45: Wharfedale are made to work

Having rattled up 124 points against Manchester in the home fixture, Wharfedale must have set off yesterday – the match having been postponed the previous day – expecting an easy win.

The Greens left Grove Park with five league points, but it was far from a routine romp.

Manchester, who included eight different players from the team used at the Avenue in September, made the Dalesmen work hard for every point. The home side had a fair share of territory and possession throughout and midway through the second half – when they trailed 28-23 – they must even have thought a shock win might be possible.

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In truth, however, such a result was not likely. The Greens were never behind, and it was their profligacy in missing a host of chances rather than Manchester's enthusiastic but less creative attacking potential that had kept the margin tight.

Going into the final stages, it was apparent that the home side's work rate was fast diminishing. The Greens were now in control, and running the gallant hosts ragged. Tries from Rob Baldwin (72mins), Mark Bedworth (75) and Adam Mason (77)) sealed the result.

In the first half tries for Wharfedale from Latu Maka'afi, Simon Horsfall and Chris Malherbe, plus Bedworth's penalty and one conversion, against three penalties from Manchester centre Sam Davis, saw the score to 20-9 at the interval.

Two converted tries – by winger David Moore (43) and scrum-half Danny Carlton (67) – gave Manchester transient hope, with the Greens, meantime, grateful to Bedworth for a penalty (48) and a try (60).