YNEDALE slithered smoothly into third place in National League Division Two North on Saturday in blizzard conditions in deepest Yorkshire.

It was the first of three successive away days in the self-styled God’s Own Country for Tynedale, and the welcome was as bleak as the top of Ilkley Moor. The weather conditions were simply atrocious with an Arctic blizzard just before kick off leaving the crowd wondering whether any kind of meaningful game would be possible.

The mini Beast from the East swept through Skipton like the Mongol hordes, but having already been postponed once because of the weather, the Yorkshire hosts made every effort to ensure the game proceeded this time.

The lines were marked in blue dye because of the snow, and despite the weather, the pitch was perfectly playable

In the continued absence of Ash Smith, Jake Rodgers continued at fly half, and had another great game, with three penalties and two conversions to his account.

Tynedale are fortunate in having two very good hookers at their disposal in Jamie Blamire and Louis Frankland, and in this game, it was Blamire who donned the number two shirt, with Frankland packing down in the back row.

Full back James Spencer also enjoyed more success, with a couple of tries, but Tynedale’s man of the match was once again number eight Scott Powell.

Wharfedale are on the fringes of the relegation dogfight and started like an express train, taking the lead after just four minutes when a grubber kick by Rhys Lovegrove caught Tynedale napping and centre Robbie Davidson touched down for Tim Barrett to convert.

The Yorkshire side had their tails up, and soon doubled their lead, cranking up the forward pressure on the Tynedale line until the referee had no option but to award a penalty try, leaving Tynedale 14-0 down with just 17 minutes gone.

Tynedale refused to be fazed, and set about repairing the damage, and from a line out 14 carefully constructed phases saw skipper Matty Outson crash over for an unconverted try on 26 minutes.

This was quickly followed by a fine solo effort by Spencer who found multiple gaps in the Wharfedale defence and the blizzard and steamed in from 65 metres like a runaway snowplough. The conversion by Rodgers meant the half-time score read a more respectable 14 to 12 in Wharfedale’s favour.

Using the howling gale as their friend in the second half, Tynedale were completely dominant. Spencer scored his second try on 51 minutes, with winger Guy Pike following suit two minutes later for the bonus point try.

Rodgers converted that try, and banged over three penalties to wrap up a fine victory. Although the tries were scored by the backs it was Tynedale’s ability to change the point of attack utilising all 15 on the field that left Wharfe struggling to get any ball or decent field position.

This leaves Tyne in third place hot on the heels of second placed Sedgley Park and leaders Sale.

Tynedale return to Yorkshire tomorrow to take on Otley, and on Easter Saturday, Sheffield are the hosts in another rearranged game.