This weekend Driffield RUFC 1st XV travel North to face league leaders Morpeth RUFC, 2nd team host Ilkley RUFC, 3rds host Scunthorpe RUFC and 4ths head to York RUFC.
Only 3 games remain in this year’s North One East season : West Leeds next, and York the week after but first up we travel to Morpeth this Saturday. Driffield are now safe from relegation following our 26-21 win against Huddersfield YMCA, match report here : https://www.driffieldrufc.com/2019/03/25/driffield-27-21-huddersfield-ymca-sat-23-03-2019/ Although the game finished with a 6 point margin, I never felt Driffield would lose the game. We got out to a 19 – 0 lead in the 1st half, then 26 – 7 within the first minute of the second. From then it was all about dealing with what YMCA could throw at us. I thought we played very well, and deserved the 5 points.
That result means we stay in North One East for another season, and can now look at trying to finish in 5th place in the league.
Morpeth are having a great season : currently top of the pile, 8 points ahead of Scarborough in 2nd. A Morpeth win with a Scarborough loss would make Morpeth champions this weekend. We have already met twice this season : the 1st time the referee got knocked out 20 mins into the game, and as a result the game was replayed 3 weeks later. In the 2nd game, Morpeth took the win 22 – 34. A good game, Morpeth always had the lead and Driffield could manage to sneak it. Match report here : https://www.driffieldrufc.com/2018/12/24/driffield-22-34-morpeth/
We have faced each other on numerous occasions over the past decade. Last season we managed to win both games, winning 27-19 at home in December, we then travelled up to Morpeth and won 3-0, a great result. The season before our fixtures book-ended the season. We went North to open the season and lost 17-5, and Morpeth travelled south on the last weekend – we won that one 56-12.
A few changes in the Driffield starting squad : Stephenson returns to the centres, partnered by Robinson. Watts moves to full back with Ryan Murray starting at 10. Ben Blacker makes a welcome return on the wing. In the pack the only change is Alex Cullen return on the flank replacing Morris. Rob Murray, Rowbottom and Borman make up the finishers.
At the sharp end of the league, Scarborough lost ground on Morpeth when they lost at Morley last weekend 39 – 31. It also means Morley have closed the gap on Scarborough to 2 points. Morley have a tough finish to the season, Away to Cleck this weekend, home to YMCA the week after and they finish with a trip to leaders Morpeth. Percy Park put 50 points on Bradford & Bingley to stay in 5th position. At the bottom, Consett continued their strong second half of the season defeating Cleckheaton 43 – 41. West Leeds lost at York 51 – 20. Bridlington lost 14 – 16 at home to Malton, leaving the bottom three as they had been, with Cleck 4 points away.
With 15 points on the table over the last 3 games, it is looking like two out of West Leeds, Brid, Cleck and Pock will be dropping a level. Pock can resolve that issue this weekend with a win at West Leeds. Brid travel to York, Cleck host Morley, Scarborough host Percy Park, Bradford host Malton and YMCA host Consett.
Our 2nd team continue their strong season with tough fixture at home to Ilkley – if you can’t make it to Morpeth, this will be a good game to watch.
3rd team are also at home to Scunthorpe whilst the 4ths head to York.
Driffield RUFC 1st XV to face Morpeth RUFC, Sat 30/03
- Dinsdale, J
- Mewburn, R (c)
- Sowersby, T
- Murray, Ryan
- Murray, Rob
Good Luck to all