A LOT of water has flowed over Linton falls since Wharfedale started out on the Rugby Football Union's Courage league structure in the 1987/88 season, (writes Tony Simpson).

Tomorrow the Greens play their 300th league match at Bracknell and while there is nothing unique about that achievement, given that others will also have risen from the lower reaches of the format as first introduced, the fact that the Dalesmen have reached another milestone is worth recording.

That David Lister will have played in half those games is a more weighty individual statistic, but there have been many everlasting reminiscences of team success imprinted on the memory during that tally of games.

"Picking out the high spots isn't an easy task," says coach Peter Hartley. "From a performance standpoint, the win over Plymouth a couple of season's ago will always be up among the favourites. That was probably as close to perfection as we have ever got in my time on a day when we played good quality, open rugby.

"Then there's the 50-point tally against London Welsh - just having a side of that calibre at Wharfedale was a thrill and to beat them so well was another fine performance.

"The win over Leeds Tykes was another special occasion given the difference in finance involved in the two teams, while beating Worcester at Sixways when they were on their way up was another occasion to savour.

"When you sit back and consider it all, there are so many games with a special memory attached.

"Obviously our very first league win at Keighley, 7-6 with a try at the death, was a special occasion, while our first season in National Two, when we were playing the likes of London Welsh, Exeter, Redruth and Clifton, involved a string of special games.

"Flying to matches was another 'first' for us, while beating Otley twice in the season they went up into National One were another two games with fond memories.

"I can also remember the game against Exeter, when we stepped up to the higher level and came across a team with more strength and power than we had encountered before, being a major eye-opener - and how we gave them a real game at their place later in the season to confirm that we were learning the ropes.

"I suppose for many people the win at Harrogate at the end of last season was a massive occasion and it was in terms of guaranteeing our survival, but I was never in any doubt that we would win, so the victory at Nottingham which started our crucial run of wins was more memorable to me.

"But there are so many games that have a special link and a special place. The more important thing is that during that period I've been lucky to come into contact with some really nice people, both on and off the pitch. "Obviously winning helps, but overall, it's been brilliant."

All being well, Hartley and his side-kick Michael Harrison will have more moments to savour as the current season reaches its denouement.

Having gathered in a couple of invaluable points against Sedgley Park last weekend, the Greens visit Bracknell tomorrow hoping that they can strengthen their promotion challenge with an away win.

Major doubts tomorrow surround the half-back pairing. Fly-half David Pears, who damaged his calf muscle last week, is keen to play against his old team-mates and was making a decision last night. Earlier in the week his chances of playing were rated no better than 50-50, but the problem had improved with treatment. Adam Oldfield stands by to take over.

At scrum-half, Graham Smith makes a rare appearance as Sam Cottrell is attending his brother's wedding. Smith last played in November in the home game against Moseley, but Cottrell has been so durable and capable since his arrival at the club that chances have been limited.

Wharfedale: A Hodgson; G Johnston, A Baggett, C Malherbe, J Davies; D Pears, G Smith; P Peel, J Ogden, N Dickinson, D Lister, A Capstick, A Jackson, H Verity, B Wade. Replacements: C Ingram, A Peel, P Evans, P Salashouri.