Rochdale 31 Goole 16
On a day where Rochdale R.U.F.C fielded 5 teams at home including the Ladies XV a record for this club and I suspect for any junior side the first XV welcomed first time visitors Goole who they had beaten earlier in the season 31-13. On a grey overcast afternoon at Moorgate Avenue with the pitch in perfect condition Dale were able to field an unchanged side from last week’s win at Crossleyans.
From the kick of fly half Stevie Collins hoisted a huge kick into the Goole 22 well taken by the full back who called a mark. Goole started well and were soon in the Dale half and forcing Dale into giving away a penalty which they elected to kick the shot falling just wide, from the restart Dale captain Josh Schofield made a good break down the left wing and as he was tackled into touch on half way attempted to release the ball but pass fell short and the Goole winger hacked on and won the foot race to the line to score this after only 3 minutes play was another bad start for the home side.
The conversion missed so 5-0 to the visitors who continued to press the Dale defence and only some great tackling by Collins and Ross Hartley halted their progress. Dale then got a rare penalty of their own and from the line out on the Goole 22 Collins chipped over the defence for Townsend and Schofield to combine and Josh to go over the line however the referee decided that the players were in front of the kicker and disallowed the try. As the weather got worse with heavy fine rain handling errors became frequent on both sides in one messy ruck wing forward Jake Castree was yellow carded by the referee and so down to 14 men Dale began to yield territory another penalty 30 yds out was slotted by the Goole fly half Tom Holt leaving the score 8-0 to Goole. More poor handling and a series of offside decisions saw Dale on their 10 metre line and unable to defend the line the visitors had their 2nd try in the corner unconverted 13-0 as half time approached.
Yet another offside by Dale saw Holt convert from 30 metres out so half time had the score an impressive 16-0 to the visitors. Dale needed to tighten their discipline and start making more of their chances whatever was said in the interval by coach Danny Collins did the trick as within minutes Dale were over the line for a converted try 7-16.
Now it was all Dale and as so many times this season a different side seemed to come out and next on the score sheet was veteran……sorry Ross Hartley cutting through the visitors defence for a converted try 14-16. Subs on now in the shape of Declan Connor and Jonny Bradley, a third try soon followed ably converted by Collins who was now running the show 21-16. Goole were not finished and as they benefited from yet another penalty had a scrum on the Dale 22 another yellow card for Dale as Harry Hill went off for a 10 minute cooler. Dale were defending their line with a player down and only heroics from Hartley on the line saved a certain score. Scrum Half Danny Joesbury made a great clearing kick to the Goole 22 the play got to the visitors 10m line but Dale were unable to capitalise on the possession Goole got a turnover and made it to the Dale 22 but lots of scrappy play and a yellow card lost them the initiative. Dale were soon back on the attack and after a penalty to Dale for offside Collins stepped up and slotted the kick to make it 24-16.
More problems in discipline saw both Jonny Bradley and the Goole 2nd row yellow carded. A penalty to Dale on the Goole 22 saw Collins pop the ball into the corner and another good line out take led to a nice try in the corner which Collins converted to make the final score 31-16 to the home side.
Dale after a shaky start were good value for their bonus point win and for the visitors it was deja vous from the earlier game on Humberside. Next week a re-arranged fixture at home to Dronfield first time visitors to Moorgate Avenue.
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.