Driffield welcomed league new-boys Kendal to Kelleythorpe on an unusually warm late September afternoon. Driffield’s confidence was high following their good form and unbeaten start to the league season which they would look to extend over today’s visitors. Driffield had much-welcomed home support, including 170 ladies who had all enjoyed a pre-match lunch for the annual Ladies Day event.
Kendal kicked off towards the showground and immediately Driffield put several phases together where both backs and forwards combined well to take Driffield inside the Kendal 22. On 5 minutes Driffield launched a counter-attack following a Kendal clearance kick, with good in-roads made by Watts and Furbank, Stephenson received the ball with the try line in sight and stepped inside two Kendal defenders to cross for the opening score. Driffield 5 – 0 Kendal.
From the kick-off, Driffield cleared their lines deep into the Kendal half. A brilliant kick-chase from Cullen led to the Kendal winger being caught in possession and Driffield managed to turn the ball over. Quick hands from Ben Dinsdale and Mewburn put Brankley into space who, after making good ground, fed the supporting James Dinsdale to finish the move off by touching down close to the touch line. Driffield 10 – 0 Kendal.
Driffield were now getting into their stride and it wasn’t long before that man Brankley again made good ground before feeding the backs to put Ben Dinsdale in to score under the posts. Driffield 17 – 0 Kendal.
Driffield then suffered a couple of injuries with Jackson and Dench both leaving the field with knocks. Kelly and Turner came off the bench, with the versatile Cullen moving to the wing. It was on the half-hour mark when Kendal had their first real period of possession and attacked the Driffield defence, but strong Driffield tackling and good kicking out-of-hand from Furbank kept them at bay.
In the closing minutes of the first half, Robinson turned the ball over deep in the Driffield half and put in a brilliant clearance kick which found touch 5 metres out from the Kendal try line. Kendal won the lineout but the Driffield forwards forced them back over their own try line and Driffield were awarded a 5-metre scrum. From the resulting scrum Driffield’s forwards dominance was clear, with the pack going forward at a rate of knots allowing Brankley to touch down for a great forward’s try. Watts struck the conversion perfectly from out wide and the half-time score was Driffield 24 – 0 Kendal.
Whatever the Kendal coaches had said to their players at half time certainly worked as they looked a different team early in the second half and had most of the possession for the first ten minutes. After continued pressure, Kendal’s winger managed to score in the corner for their first points of the afternoon with the conversion going wide. This left the score Driffield 24 – 5 Kendal.
Kendal really had the wind in their sails at this point, and from a mix up at a lineout in the Driffield 22, Kendal collected the ball and crashed over the line to score their second try in quick succession. The conversion was successful making the score Driffield 24 – 12 Kendal.
On the hour mark, Dench returned to the field and immediately put Driffield on the front foot. After some good phase play from Mewburn and Cooper, the ball was spun to Ben Dinsdale who skinned his opposite man and rounded the full back to score. The conversion attempt dropped just short, Driffield 29 – 12 Kendal.
Immediately from the kick-off, Syson and Nellen carried well which created space for Ben Dinsdale to score again out wide and claim his hat-trick. The conversion was missed, making it Driffield 34 – 12 Kendal.
Following the kick-off and good forward play again, Ben Dinsdale managed to grab his fourth try of the day just beating the cover defence to score in the corner, the conversion just fading away to the right. Driffield 39 – 12 Kendal.
Into the closing minutes of the game Driffield were awarded a penalty in the centre of the field and elected to have a scrum. Again, the Driffield forwards were dominant which meant the backs had good quick ball. From the scrum Kelly broke the line, drawing the fullback and feeding Stephenson to go in for his second try of the afternoon, and with the conversion being successful the score was Driffield 46 – 12 Kendal as the referee blew his whistle for full-time.
Driffield will be happy with another bonus point win which maintains their 100% start to the season. Ben Dinsdale’s pace really made him a danger to the Kendal defence all afternoon. Sam Furbank kicked well from hand which gave kept Kendal in their own half for long periods of the game. In the forwards, strong runs from Felix Nellen, Adam Brankley and Alex Cullen set the platform for the rest of the team to work from. The dominance in the scrums for the full 80 minutes will be pleasing for the coaches. Another big test awaits on Saturday as we welcome Morley to Kelleythorpe in what is always a tough encounter.