A LATE Wharfedale try two minutes from time meant that Coventry tasted a narrow 28-24 defeat in the final day of the 2015/16 season at the picturesque Avenue Ground on Saturday.
Already relegated for the first time in 20 years, Wharfedale showed their attacking intent from the outset and Coventry found themselves 14 points behind after just seven minutes.
Scrum half Philip Woodhead cross for the opening try of the match on three minutes and just four minutes later flanker Dan Solomi made his way through a non-existent Coventry defence with fly half Jamie Guy converted both.
The visitors did however manage to cut the deficit with their first meaningful attack.A 20-metre rolling maul causes havoc and Coventry’s top try scorer Matt Price claimed his 11th of the season and Matt Jones converted well for 14-7.
The hosts were enjoying the better of possession and it was no surprise to see them stretch their lead when centre Cameron Hudson scored a third try and again Guy was on-hand to convert the extras.
However Coventry fought back and two tries within the space of as many minutes saw them pull level.
First on 31 minutes, Alex Woodburn was on the end of good visiting pressure and moments later Dom Lespierre was set free 40 metres out to run through the remaining cover for an excellent try.
Jones converted both to make it 21-21 at the break but the second half proved to be a more cagey affair with just ten points being scored overall.
The visitors got their noses in front with 56 minutes on the clock thanks to a well executed Jones penalty and at this point Coventry were seeing more of the ball but they were unable to find a way through the Wharfedale defence.
Two yellow cards for Dale’s Hedgley and Dom Lespierre saw Coventry concede a penalty from five metres out and home flanker Josh Burridge was forced over the line to secure a bonus and Guy’s conversion left the visitors needed a try to re-take the lead.
A total of ten minutes of added on time was played and twice Coventry tried to break out but Wharfedale were able to hold on to a rare win while Scott Morgan’s side were left to ponder a ninth-place finish.