The last regular weekend of the season is here: The 1st team head to Bradford & Bingley in North One East looking to seal their play-off spot and with one eye on Morpeth v Alnwick game for the top spot.
Last week’s match against Penrith RUFC ended with a superb Driffield victory. After a tight first 40, The Woldsmen got into 1st gear for the first 20 minutes of the second half to score 3 tries. Penrith got one back near the end but, looking back on it, it was a dominant performance by Driffield. Final Score Driffield 24 – 10 Penrith. Full match report here: https://www.driffieldrufc.com/2018/04/16/driffield-24-10-penrith-saturday-14-april/
I’ll run through the possible league outcomes later. Firstly we need the win, which will not be an easy task. Bradford have had a mixed season : they still need 1 point to be mathematically safe from relegation although they do host Percy Park, currently in the final relegation place, next weekend.
Bradford currently sit 9th in the league with 9 wins, 14 losses and a draw. 5 of the victories have been at home, and include a 32 – 24 win over Penrith. Last week’s victory at Bridlington was Bradford’s 1st win against a top 8 side, beating Brid 8 – 18.
Our 1st meeting was on the 1st weekend of the season. Bradford arrived a with a weak squad, which was made worse when their captain went down injured in the warm-up. Driffield went on to win 28 – 7.
Looking at previous years, they will be a tough outfit. Last season it was all square, with home advantage taking the honours on both occasions. We won 16 – 9 at Kelleythorpe, whilst Bees won 39 – 12 at theirs. Having spent 4 seasons in National 3 North, Bees started a downward spiral which saw us cross paths in North One East in the 14/15 season. We again shared the points with both sides winning at home. Bees dropped to Yorkshire 1 for 2015/16, but that was their low point as they re-grouped and finished top of the pile, losing only one game in the process.
Last season saw Bees push on, and for much of the season looked as though they might push for promotion places. Eventually falling away and finishing 6th, 1 point and place behind us.
Driffield will be full of confidence with 6 wins on the run since we lost at Penrith. Looking at the league, to finish top we need 5 points (win + bonus point) and hope Alnwick lose without a bonus point at Morpeth. That would mean we finish level on points, but Driffield would be classified as top as we would have won more games than Alnwick.
If that doesn’t happen, any type of win would mean a play-off. Failing a win, we would be looking down the road to the Cleckheaton v Penrith game, hoping for a Cleckheaton win. If we get a point, Penrith would need a win.
At the bottom of the League, two of the relegation places have been decided : Northern and West Hartlepool. The final place is between Percy Park, Dinnington, YMCA and Bradford & Bingley. Bradford and Dinnington need 1 point to be safe, YMCA need 3. Percy Park host Dinnington this weekend, then travel to Bradford. With YMCA hosting West Hartlepool this weekend, it is looking like Percy Park will need a full haul of points over their 2 remaining games to stay up.
The two promoted teams from last season are coming straight back down. Pocklington and Morley will be relegated tomorrow : Pocklington with only 2 wins all season, Morley with 6.
York have been promoted from Yorkshire One, with Heath, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Beverley all still in the hunt for the play-off spot. From D&N1, Durham City look set to be champions, again a dogfight for second, with Barnard Castle, South Shields, Westoe & Consett all with a chance.
Driffield 1st XV v Bradford & Bingley 1st XV (a), Sat 21/04/2018, 3pm KO.
1 – Blenkinsop, 2 – Brumfield, 3 – Dervey
4 – Cooper, 5 – Borman
6 – Mewburn G, 7 – Mewburn R (c), 8 – Dinsdale J
9 – Gray, 10 – Furbank
12 – Stephenson, 13 – Dinsdale B
11 – Lawrence, 14 – Robinson, 15 Watts
16 – Dench, 17 – Cullen, 18 – Zavatti.
2nd XV head To Cleckheaton.
Our Ladies XV head to Malton & Norton on Saturday, looking to extend their winning streak to 3. They currently have around 20 ladies in the squad and are looking very good. So if you can’t make it to Bradford, get across to Malton. KO – 1PM.