Wetherby beaten by Barnsley
“Do your tie up, you’re not a year nine girl!” - Jack Kaye noticing George’s undone top button
Wetherby travelled to Barnsley on the hottest day of the year. The only part of the UK not bathed in sunshine was inevitably Thorne, where the sun refuses to go. Barnsley have had a good run since the teams last met on the first day of the season, so Wetherby were in for a tough game. Unfortunately this wasn’t relayed to the coaching team, who somehow only managed to select two substitutes.
Wetherby started well and left their territory through the enormous right boot of Steve Hoather. Given his rapid weight gain, he was able to put his giant belly behind it and Wetherby gained ground. The early Wetherby pressure was capitalised on as Jack Kaye burst through the line and recycled to the warthog Rob Adair who trundled over the line for the games opening score. 0-7.
Another huge boot got Wetherby down the field again, and this time it was Kaye the younger making the break. Harry Kaye turned up looking and sounding like Phil Mitchell when he was an alcoholic, which might have been to blame for him butchering a 4-on-1. Fortunately Wetherby pushed over the resulting scrum and James Gibson dotted down at the back. 0-12.
Barnsley got back in the game, by using their massive pack. In a scene reminiscent of the battle for Helm’s deep in lord of the rings, wave after wave of Orc attack smashed into the Wetherby defences. Fortunately Gimli and Legolas (Adam Shaw and Jonny Day) put their bodies on the line to save the realm of man for Wetherby. Barnsley finally broke through though and got a score of their own despite a couple of cracking try-savers from Archie Youlden. 7-12.
Wetherby looked slick and confident to try new ways of playing in the South Yorkshire sunshine. A lovely line-out move sent Hoather close, before Wetherby spilled the ball. A brilliant hook at the scrum to turn the ball over by Adam Shaw sent Wetherby forward again as James Gibson scored his second pushover try. 7-19.
With the wind in their sails, the red and whites played expansive rugby. Jonny Day was securing quick ball, and a neat change in direction by captain Danny Warden put George Gilbert in a gap. Despite his unconventional preparation of wheelieing his motorbike through Boston Spa, George showed he was ready with a great turn of pace to score the bonus point try. 7-26.
In the ultra hot weather, the Wetherby front row were struggling and a shuffle round seemed to upset the apple cart and give Barnsley the upper hand. Barnsley took the initiative and closed the gap through their big second row who scored his second try. 14-26.
Wetherby had further chances in the half, not least when rogue lock Ben Thompson was spotted flying down the wing like an ostrich in full flight. Barnsley kept the upper hand into half time however and ended the half with a try in the corner to catch Wetherby’s seemingly runaway train.
Half-time: Barnsley 19-26 Wetherby
Wetherby got off to a horrible start to the second half as only silent assassin Dan McCleary seemed willing to take on Barnsley’s big number eight, who looked like a scaled up baby and behaved like one as well. Two back to back tries early in the second half saw Barnsley take the lead for the first time in the game however and put the home team firmly in control. 31-26.
With Wetherby struggling to get a foothold in the game, things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Chris Atkinson followed up a great tackle with a total brain fart. Chris decided the best time to throw his first ever punch was right in front of the referee, which despite being cute, earned him a red card. The resulting penalty pushed Barnsley further ahead. 34-26.
Wetherby defended manfully with a man down, with Bryn Kitching and Matt Bartle both putting in some solid tackles. Despite this, Barnsley’s fly-half had clearly cottoned on to Harry Kaye’s searing headache and peppered him with high balls until eventually they got some reward with another try to stretch their lead once more. 39-26.
Enough was enough for the worlds most over qualified van driver Bradley Mason, as he decided to wander off the pitch and refuse to play. Not exactly the tonic Wetherby needed from a senior player. Fortunately Rob Adair had a point to prove, and put Wetherby back within a score with a great solo leg drive. His little legs scuttled like someone had put some responsibility behind him. 39-33.
With the relentless sun beating down on the players, Wetherby looked out on their feet and Barnsley sealed the game with a lovely cross-field kick to the corner to end another cracking game between two evenly matched teams.
Full-time: Barnsley 46-33 Wetherby
A good performance in patches, with some promising performances and phases of play. The final saga of the lord of the rings continues next week as Wetherby take a coach trip to the top of mount doom to play Halifax Vandals.
MoM: Dan McCleary - relentless energy in defence as he single handedly neutralised Barnsley’s biggest ball carrier.
DoD: Chris Atkinson - I’d compare him to a celebrity, but last weeks comparison to Dale Winton has put the spooks on me.