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Our history with Wharfedale

Wharfedale RUFC are our next visitors when we stage the Yorkshire Cup quarter-final tie at the home of our partners Bishop Burton College on Thursday April 6th, kick-off 7-30pm, where the match will be played under floodlights.
Hull RUFC have never played Wharfedale in league rugby as ‘The Greens’ have always been in a higher division than ourselves, but we have met them on three previous occasions in the Yorkshire Cup.
The first occasion was in the 2007/08 season and was in the second round of the competition. Hull had received a walk-over in the first round after Otley had called of the game which was to have been played at Haworth Park. On April 16th of that season we travelled to their lovely Wharfeside Avenue ground in the village of Threshfield where we were beaten 34-12 by a side two divisions above us. Hull’s points came from tries to Guy Martinson and Jeff Peek with Martinson landing a conversion.
The second time we met was again at Wharfeside Avenue in season 2009/10 in the semi-final of the competition on April 21st of that season. Hull had beaten Driffield (away) by 32-20 in round one, Beverley (home) by 27-24 in round two and this time we were only one level below ‘the Greens’ as we were in National Two North. Wharfedale were again successful by 26-7 with Hull’s points coming from a Darren Wigg try converted by James Cameron.
The third, and for Hull RUFC the most important, occasion was in the 2011/12 season and was in the Final of the competition at York RUFC. Once again Wharfedale were just one level above us and on the way to the final Hull had beaten Malton and Norton 40-17 (away) and in the semi-final at Cleckheaton we had won a tight game by 15-11. Wharfedale had beaten Huddersfield in their semi-final and strangely enough prevented a replay of the 2010/11 final where Huddersfield had beaten us by 25-18.
It was a dreadful night weather-wise at York on May 9th where a big crowd saw Hull win T’Owd Tin Pot for the first time by 20-10. The match was played in pouring rain throughout the whole game and produced an absorbing and tense battle which saw Hull leading 5-0 at the break and 12-0 early in the second half. A converted try to the Dalesmen made it 12-7 before both sides exchanged penalties to make the score 15-10 before another try in the 72nd minute put Hull further ahead at 20-10. The final 8 minutes plus 4 minutes of added time saw Hull under the most intense pressure but some resolute ‘Rorke’s Drift’ defending by Hull kept their line intact. The final whistle saw great scenes of jubilation as James Cameron lifted the trophy for Hull’s only Yorkshire Cup Final victory and the general consensus from both clubs after the game was that Hull had fully deserved their victory.
Hull’s try-scorers on that historic night were Will Robinson (2) and Anthony Maka with Cameron landing a conversion and a penalty goal.
Let us all hope that Hull can repeat that victory this coming Thursday and make it 2-2 in the Yorkshire Cup games between our two clubs.
Norman Angell

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