After a difficult start to the league season, Saturday brought a welcome break from league rugby. Matches with old rivals Ionians have been few and far between over recent seasons, and a large crowd gathered to watch the opening round of the Yorkshire Cup.
Again Driffield fielded a much-changed side, but any worries about the side gelling together were dispelled early on. After a straight-forward penalty kick for goal went wide, Ionians were penalised from the resulting restart. Lawrence took a quick tap and found Brankley who weaved his way to the try line. Dinsdale converted. Driffield 7 – 0 Hull Ionians
Driffield were exploiting space down the right wing and Lawrence nearly added a try from a nice break by Watts, but the final pass just went to ground. He was not to be denied for long. From a midfield scrum, Robinson showed good pace to get around the back row. His pass found Watts and this time he found Lawrence. He glided across the turf and touched down for another converted try. Driffield 14 – 0 Hull Ionians
After a strong start from the Woldsmen, Ionians came right back into the game, testing the home defence with a series of runners off the fly half. They earned a penalty and kicked to touch, where they proceeded to set a rolling maul and shunt the home side back thirty yards towards their own line. Driffield conceded a penalty, and Ionians repeated the trick and pushed over for a deserved score, well converted from wide out. Driffield 14 – 7 Hull Ionians
Seeking a quick response, the excellent Brankley seized the kick off and charged forwards. Driffield moved the ball wide to Dinsdale who danced through the defence, sold the full back a dummy and scored. Driffield scored again from the restart. Awarded a penalty, Robinson took a quick tap and found Brankley. Driffield recycled and found Furbank who ran at the line and went through a gap. He drew the last man and turned the ball inside to captain Stephenson who scored near the posts allowing Dinsdale to convert. Half time Driffield 26 – 7 Hull Ionians.
Ionians needed a quick response to close the gap, but it was Driffield who scored first. From a turnover, the ball made its way to Watts who swerved through for a converted try Straight from the kick off, Cullen, on his first appearance of the season, charged onto the ball and swatted away defenders to reach the half way line. Driffield attacked down the touchline and reached the five yard line. Robinson ran from the breakdown and found Sowersby on a lovely run to burst through untouched and score. Driffield 40 – 7 Hull Ionians.
Robinson got in on the act soon after. Lawrence came round from the blindside and broke a tackle, before moving the ball to Dinsdale. He stretched away from the defence before turning the ball inside to Robinson to score a converted try. Driffield brought up the 50 point mark with a well-worked try. Furbank found Stephenson drifting wide and he turned the ball inside to Dinsdale who showed his pace to round the full back and score under the posts for a try he converted. Driffield 52 – 7 Hull Ionians.
There was still time for Driffield to add a couple of long-range tries. First, Walgate claimed the kick off and found Brankley. He burst tackles and sped away down the touchline, before being well-tackled. His offload found Cullen in support and capped a fine half with a try under the posts. A push-over try added another seven points before McClarron broke from deep and found Lawrence to run in another converted try to make the final score Driffield 73 – 7 Hull Ionians.
Hopefully this will kick-start Driffield’s season, with the high tempo game they aspire to play causing the opposition problems. A tough month follows with two more local derbies, but first Percy Park visit Kelleythorpe next weekend for a crucial league fixture.