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Friday, 29 May 2015

Smales bags brace of tries in Tyne’s elusive away win

IT’S been a long time coming, but Tynedale finally pulled off their first away win of the season on Saturday.

Indeed, the emphatic 34-15 triumph at Wharfedale was only their third away success of 2012.

But the performance was well worth waiting for, as Tynedale’s backs ran riot against the Yorkshiremen.

They had the four-try bonus point in the bag by half time – and all the points came from the backs.

There was also a typically clinical performance from Hamish Smales, who helped himself to a brace of tries.

There was also another score from fellow winger and leading try scorer Peter Moralee, who notched his eighth try of the season.

Fly half Matty Outson kicked like a dream, with a penalty and three conversions, and his half back partner Harry Peck fizzed around like an over-excited bottle of Becks.

The forwards produced a steady supply of good ball, despite the enforced absence of the suspended Graeme Dunn, and a commanding performance from second row Stuart Johnson earned him the man of the match award.

There was also a sterling performance from lock Dickie Miller, who made some important ball carries.

And it was also good to see the first appearance of the season of Andrew Murray, who came on as a late replacement for number eight Ollie Stedman, who was taken off for his own good.

Stedman is a hugely talented player, blessed with enormous strength and ability, but seems to lack the temperament to go with it.

He completely lost his head after being wronged by a Wharfedale player.

The red mist descended, and a card of similar hue would have been a certainty had he not been dragged off and replaced by Murray.

The game was played in wet and windy conditions, and it was first blood to Tynedale when Outson slotted an eighth minute penalty.

They extended that lead on 13 minutes, when peerless full back Chris Harris made a telling break, and the bolt of greased lightning that is Moralee scorched the wet turf on his way to the line.

Outson’s kick drifted just wide, but Tynedale were 8-0 to the good.

Wharfedale were all at sea, and had to man the lifeboats on 16 minutes when Harris gathered the ball on the 22, and blasted in for Tynedale’s third try.

Outson’s successful kick put Tynedale 15-0 up in just about even time.

Wharfedale did not start to flex their muscles until the 22nd minute, when a penalty took them to within 10 metres of the Tynedale line.

They put together a series of forward drives, but Tynedale resisted them manfully, until Wharfedale were penalised for holding on, and Outson cleared to halfway.

Play soon switched to the other end though, when a kick was charged down on the halfway, and Moralee was sent streaking away again.

This time though somebody man aged to get a hand on his shirt, and was swung into touch 15 metres from the line.

Tynedale were not to be denied though, and the strength of Smales took him over the line in the corner on 31 minutes.

Referee Marcus Caton in dictated that the ball had been held up, but touch judge Derek Blake intervened, pointing out the ball had been correctly grounded.

Outson’s touchline conversion attempt scraped the outside of the post.

Seven minutes later, Smales was over again, scooping up a loose ball before skating over wide out for the bonus point clinching try. Outson’s eye was in now, and he stroked over the conversion to give Tynedale a thoroughly merited 27-0 interval lead.

Wharfedale were completely shellshocked, and unrecognisable from the side that had beaten table-toppers Rosslyn Park in their last home match.

The Yorkshiremen had a simple chance to get on the scoreboard two minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out, bang in front of the posts.

It should have been like shelling peas for the normally deadly Lloyd Davies – but he sliced the ball horribly wide.

Stedman was by now brewing up, and a Wharfedale penalty was advanced 10 metres after the number eight decided to share his opinions with Mr Caton.

The penalty was kicked to touch, and from the line-out hooker Steve Graham touched down for a try.

The conversion failed, but Wharfedale were off the mark.

Stedman’s tantrum came on 65 minutes, and taking advantage of the disruption, Wharfedale secured their second try.

A penalty was kicked to touch, and replacement hooker Ian Larkin was driven over for the score.

Simon Horsfall had now taken over kicking duties, but had no more success than Davies.

Any hopes of a Wharfedale fightback were soon snuffed out, as on 70 minutes, Alex Fieldhouse, on in the centre for Ben Frankland, powered in for Tynedale’s fifth try.

It was again wide out, but it made no difference to Outson, who popped it over to make the score a comfortable 34-10.

To the credit, Wharfedale decided to try for a bonus point, and got halfway there when centre Joe Donkin, knifed in from 35 metres, but Horsfall’s kick was again off target. Tynedale shut up shop to deny them an unlikely fourth try bonus point.