Young Bloods take Dale to second in the League

In 1st XV Match Reports by Rochdale Rugby

Glossop 28 Rochdale 35

On a chilly day at Hargate Hill Dale fielded a young side and with Stevie Collins and Chris Hodgkinson both unavailable in came Joe Horne at 17 making his 1st team debut and at the other extreme 30 something Tom Hindle partnered Eddie Shanks in the 2nd row.

On a heavy pitch Rochdale made hard work of the opening encounters trying to take on the big Glossop pack on the muddiest part of the pitch. A high kick through by the Glossop no. 10 was collected by captain Josh Schofield but the sliced clearance kick only made the Dale 22 where the home side won the line out and proceeded to Maul their way through to the line and the first try converted by Tom Dernaley 7-0 with 5 minutes gone. Dale were soon back in the game and on the scoreboard as a pass was intercepted by Ben Sunderland on half way and a nice inside pass found leading try scorer Schofield motoring through to score a converted try 7-7 after 10 minutes. With the re-start going straight into touch Dale chose a line out but failed to secure the ball and picked up a yellow card for Olly Mills disrupting the line out. A high kick to the Dale 22 was dropped and Glossop made a good passing move with an outrageous dummy from Dearnaley which saw him in under the posts he converted so 14-7 (15) Glossop were using the one man advantage and when Dale lost the ball in the midfield mud the ball went out to their fast winger who was taken out in style by Tom Hindle rolling back the years. Young Cliff Howard got the ball on half way and skipped past three defenders and slipped the ball to Eddie Shanks who slid in for a nice try, Matty Johnston converted to make it 14-14 with half an hour gone. This pulsating game ebbed and flowed with Dale’s backs always dangerous and only in trouble when taking on the Glossop pack.

Whenever Johnston or scrum half Danny Joesbury got the ball wide the slower Glossop players struggled in the heavy conditions. Olly Mills was back from the sin bin and celebrated with a fine individual try being set up by Travis Townsend and converted by Johnston 14-21 . Glossop would not lie down and were soon back on the scoresheet with a well worked try by fly half Dearnaley 21-21. Half time saw Harry Hayes come on to bolster the pack and he was soon in the thick of it but it was a story of two missed penalties one by Glossop then an embarrassing slip saw Johnston’s effort hit the foot of the posts, however the ref decided to give the Glossop centre a card for slowing the play and the tempo of the game changed as Dale by –passed the big defenders and spun the ball wide and when Schofield found young Cliff Howard on his wing the pass left the winger sprinting through for the bonus point try and with a great touchline conversion from Johnston Dale went ahead by 7 points 28-21 The visitors were now going for a big score and next on the scoresheet was young centre Tom Hesketh finishing a fine passing move on the left wing and going at the corner up stepped Johnston on his weaker side and planted the ball through the posts for his 5th conversion of the day 35-21.

But the scoring wasn’t over as Glossop came back and got their own bonus try easily converted to leave the final score 35-28 This was by no means a classic but good all round gutsy rugby on a cold March afternoon in Derbyshire. Well done to the Dale youth and what prospects they are for the future. With Selby losing Dale moved to 2nd and with three games left a good chance of taking the League.
David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.