Dale back to winning ways

In 1st XV Match Reports by Rochdale Rugby

Rochdale 36 Wilmslow 10

Rochdale welcomed Matthew Johnston to play fly half and had an otherwise unchanged side from last week’s visit to Vale of Lune. Wilmslow started well with good attacks from their big pack Dale defended well and had a chance with a penalty just inside the visitors 22 Johnson opted for touch and from a well taken line out Dale moved the ball wide only to see the final pass go down. Another promising move by the Dale backs was snuffed out on half way, a deep kick was well taken by Johnston and returned to the Wilmslow 22 the visitors moved the ball well and were soon in a good attacking position Dale defended well but the final long pass took out two covering men for the Wilmslow winger to score. The conversion was wide so 5-0 going into the 15th minute.

Dale were soon back in the visitors half and even though they lost a line out on the 22 the Wilmslow fly half cleared direct into touch, from the resulting scrum the ball was secured and moved out by Danny Joesbury to winger Pat Gillan who hacked through towards the try line well covered by the full back. Another penalty saw Dale on the visitors 5 metre line the line out was well taken by Chris Hodgkinson who was driven on by the pack the final touchdown went to Eddie Shanks converted by Ollie Coldman 7-5. Good pressure by Dale another chip over the Wilmslow defence by Johnston for Simon Moore to chase covered by the visitors and hit to touch on half way good work in the scrum by the front row with Jonny Bradley and Harry Hill making their presence felt the ever present Ross Hartley took the ball wide and winger Gillan hit the afterburners to score a great try in the corner 12-5. With half time approaching Wilmslow got back in the match when Dale were penalized on their own 22 for a forward pass a quick tap penalty and the visitors were in for their 2nd try conversion was missed so 12-10 at half time.

Dale were soon back on the attack Aidy Gleeson was held in the corner but the ball came back to the forwards to press home their advantage a nice inside pass to Johnston saw the debutant go over for Dale’s 3rd try converted by Coldman 19-10. Changes now as Foster replaced Shanks who had a great first half and a knock for Johnston saw Spud Green come on at fly half. Dale were soon on the score sheet with the all important 4th bonus point try following a good break by Coldman the pack again were on the front foot as Foster drove under the Wilmslow defence the conversion going wide 24-10.

The visitors kept on attacking but determined Dale defence denied them another score and back defending their own 22. A clearance kick came to Green who chipped over the Wilmslow defence the ball ran dead but the drop out fell nicely to Josh Schofield who broke through a couple of tackles and passed outside to winger Gillan who beat one man moved the ball back to Schofield who looked to be going alone but flicked he ball back to Gillan to score his 2nd try of the afternoon once again the kick was short so 29-10.

Dale received a penalty and the following line out was well taken by Hodgkinson but the ball was lost in the tackle, the Wilmslow full back tried a clearance kick which was charged down by Hartley 10 metres out, several attempts by the Dale forwards were held then Simon Moore who had come in from the left wing was on hand to power through a gap in the visitors defence to score by the posts and more simple conversion for Coldman took the score to 36-10 with 5 mins.left. The Wilmslow forwards were determined to get a conciliation try but Dale again defended stoutly conceding several penalties and two late yellow cards for a heavy tackle by sub Green and one for Johnston. A good 2nd half performance again by Dale with four tries and no points conceded. Next week an away fixture against Altrincham and Kersal.

David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.