Aire 0 - 40 Wensleydale
By Si Davies
Aire’s bad run of form continues on a weather-affected day - by Tom Clayton
Aireborough’s chances of lifting themselves off the bottom of the Yorkshire 3 table before Christmas slimmed on Saturday, as high-flying Wensleydale visited Nunroyd Park.
Aireborough lined up with a solid squad, despite a few drops outs on Saturday morning. Head coach Si Davies donned the shirt for a pre-Christmas run out and Rich Lister made his first start since the opening day of the season.
Iain Craven stepped in at fullback with Kris Brook missing through injury and Crusaders captain James Underwood got a late call up.
The rain subsided for the start of the game but Aire struggled to get a foothold in the opening minutes. Wensleydale capitalised on three mistakes in the defence within the first ten minutes and scored on each. After 10 minutes, the score stood at 0-21.
Aire pulled themselves together and, not for the first time this season, faced a comeback if they wanted to take the points.
The majority of the rest of the game was played in the middle third of the park, both sides displaying solid defence.
Aire found themselves knocking on the Wensleydale line with some good attacking play. The Wolfpack came away empty handed after conceding possession over the line.
Wensleydale conceded a penalty when down at Aireborough’s line and were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes.
It didn’t take long for Wensleydale to get back over the line from a break through the defence, the visitors going over before the break.
Halftime came and Aireborough were not out of the contest, but faced an uphill battle in the second half to get something from the match.
Aire came out in a resilient mood, hoping to turn the game on its head.
Martyn Booth and Mikey Dolan were making some solid tackles in the early stages of the half and Dolan was on hand to prevent Wensleydale scoring from a break.
20 minutes into the half, Wensleydale did manage to dot over the line whilst Aire were down to 14 (Booth taking the cheese slice for his troubles). 0-35
For the remainder of the game, Aire showed good defence and made good use of space, but could not break the Wensleydale backline.
Before the end of the game, Tony Clitheroe found himself in the sin bin for a deliberate knock on. In the following attack, the visitors found themselves over the line for the final time in the game.
Aireborough will look to turn the tide in their next game as they travel to 8th placed Hemsworth in their final game of 2018.
Despite being at the foot of the table, Aireborough are still well in touch of those around them and a win at Hemsworth next week will lift them two places in the league ahead of local rivals Baildon and Leeds Modernians.