Yorkshire Division Three: Wibsey 18 Baildon 38

In late May, Yorkshire Division Four champions Wibsey held their players’ dinner at Clayton Golf Club.

One of the things that was mentioned that night was the need for better discipline the following season in the division above.

However, the Villagers seemed to have forgotten that message when they faced Baildon at Northfield Road in the first league derby between the clubs since the 1990s.

The hosts had No 8 Michael Kite sent off for two yellow cards and had backs Carl Walker and Jack Cull sin-binned as they went down by 20 points, having been in a contest where the lead changed hands six times in the first 57 minutes.

“Discipline made the difference in the end,” said Wibsey’s Mark Darragh. “If we had kept our guys on the pitch we would have been in the contest a lot more.

“But it was a derby and everyone was keen to get in there and it just spilled over.

“It is hard to take positives after that and we were out on our feet but we were pleased that we stuck in there when we had men down and we can build on that for next week.

“Also Robson Moore was outstanding in our backs and was our man of the match.”

Darragh has certainly noticed the difference in standard between tiers nine and 10, however, and said: “Now you have got to turn up every week and you can’t be sloppy.

“Every team is going to push you in different areas and no team is going to let up in either the forwards or the backs and will push you.”

If the counter-attacking Moore was a stand-out for Wibsey then fly half Jake Duxbury was the key man for the visitors, be it with his runs from deep or his goal-kicking.

Duxbury, who scored 28 of Baildon’s points via two tries, four penalties and three conversions, said: “In the first half we got sucked into a game that they wanted us to play but their player-coach Andy Robinson (hamstring) going off at half-time made a big difference.

“If they had kept their discipline it would have been a lot closer.”

Duxbury’s two tries were both from long-distance raids, and it looked for all the world from behind Baildon’s posts that he had knocked on in midfield for his first score four minutes after half-time in chasing his own kick downfield when Wibsey were leading 15-10.

However, he admitted: “I didn’t really know much about it and I thought that I had dropped the ball after I palmed it away.

“The bounce took it away from their full back and my palm took it away from their winger and I looked up and there the ball was and I caught it.”

That converted try put Baildon 17-15 in front and although a Danny Belcher penalty two minutes later gave Wibsey the lead again, a 57th-minute Duxbury penalty gave Baildon an advantage they would not surrender.

Duxbury’s second try in the 71st minute helped to stretch the victory margin, and Duxbury explained: “We had a massive overlap coming left after they put too many in at the breakdown.”

He added: “We are just looking for improvement on last season and don’t want to be in that dogfight at the bottom.

“We want 40 league points to avoid that and that is what we are working towards at the moment, but we only put half a game in here. The previous week it was 30 minutes and we managed to beat Cas. It was the same against Halifax Vandals where we didn’t quite manage to get over the line after giving them a 23-point start, which is asking for trouble.

“We were fortunate that Wibsey didn’t get away from us in the first half and asked for a reaction at half-time and got it, which earlier in the year we wouldn’t have done and wouldn’t have got the win.”

Kite was sin-binned for taking a man out in the air from the kick-off and Duxbury put Baildon ahead with a sixth-minute penalty, missing a shot at goal three minutes later.

Full back Belcher put Walker in for a try in the 21st minute as Wibsey took the lead for the first time but it only lasted three minutes as Harrison Strauss ripped the ball free and centre Matty Dixon ran 60 metres to score, leaving Duxbury with an easy shot at goal.

Wibsey scrum half Kyle Carter’s positive running almost led to a try for comeback kid Chris Farley but they took a 15-10 half-time lead when Walker’s inside pass put lock Elliott Cousins over for Belcher to convert and he also added an injury-time penalty.

By now, however, Wibsey had lost Robinson, who could not overcome a hamstring injury, and prop Simon Birkbeck, who had to come off with a knee injury.

Moore’s pace almost put winger Bruce Mpofu over on the left at the start of the second half before Duxbury’s solo first try was followed by penalties from Belcher and Duxbury.

Walker was sin-binned for obstruction in the 49th minute, with Duxbury missing the penalty, but normal service was resumed eight minutes later with a kick that gave Baildon a lead they would never lose.

Kite, perhaps harshly this time, received his second yellow card from referee Colin Tovey from the kick-off in the 58th minute but Moore was still a danger with his strong and elusive running.

Mpofu was penalised for holding on in the 66th minute after an excellent catch, and Duxbury slotted that penalty and another one three minutes later when Cull saw yellow for obstruction.

Then came Duxbury’s second solo try with Dixon joining him on a brace, again from a counter-attack, with Duxbury converting his own score as Baildon pulled away to go third in the table.