Judgement Day for Wetherby

Wetherby RUFC.
Wetherby RUFC.

IT’S Judgement Day for Wetherby RUFC tomorrow who are just one win away from promotion, their first in 18 years.

Club stalwart Mel Jones is eagerly anticipating the tasty Yorkshire Five clash at home to Hornsea (3pm ko), with a big Grange Park crowd expected.

Wayne Pawson’s side are currently riding the crest of wave and extended their winning run to 13 games on Saturday with a 22-5 win at Hornsea.

The back-to-back clash is set to be an exciting one with the club also keeping an eye on close challengers Knaresborough and Wensleydale who are playing each other tomorrow.

“We are hoping to continue the run,” said Jones.

“By our calculations if we get another four points without a bonus point we will be safely in the promotion position.

“We play Knaresborough the following week which will be our final game of the season. Hopefully we’ll be promoted on Saturday and then we can go on and win the league.

“Everyone is trying to keep their feet on the ground at the moment. It’s all bubbling up nicely.”

Jones feels the recipe for success this season has been the form of their youngsters who have taken to open age rugby like ducks to water.

“This success has been a long time coming,” he continued.

“There’s been an addition of quality players in the squad. We’ve also had a successful colts team too with young players coming into the team.”

On Saturday, Wetherby’s Tom Bottomley secured a loose line out ball which ended up with Dan Simpson scoring the opening try.

Hornsea hit back but Wetherby stood firm to hold them out before the half-time whistle.

Coach Pawson gave his side a verbal lashing at the break and it seemed to work as things improved almost immediately when Hornsea’s poor kick-off enabled Wetherby to win a scrum and put the ball downfield.

The return kick out of the Hornsea 22 was fielded by James Gibson who chipped ahead and helped win the ensuing ruck.

Paul Savage went close before Dan Simpson finished off the attack to score out wide with Gibson converting.

Within five minutes Wetherby went further ahead when Alex Fraser picked off his own clearance kick before finding Nick Oates who in turn fed Dan Simpson.

He tip-toed along the touchline to complete his hat-trick. Teamwork by the Reds was now key.

They easily contained their hosts’ attacks thanks to their speed to the breakdown and excellent defence.

The forwards were getting the better of a determined Hornsea pack who kept using their short driving game persistently to try to drive holes in the Red’s defence.

Wetherby’s backs did the business again following hard work by Ben Dalby aided by the loose forwards and when the ball emerged from the ensuing maul Oates feigned to go down the blind side but flung out a long pass the other way to another emerging youth team player Gus Lonaghan.

He took his chance well wrong footing his opposing winger to score easily.

The home side did get a reward for their efforts when their right winger scored in the corner.

This was the only time the Reds’ excellent defence was breached.

After tomorrow, Wetherby face one more game, at fellow challengers Knaresborough, before their Yorkshire Five season draws to a close.