Driffield made the comparatively short trip to Morley hoping to improve on last week’s performance at Kendal. This game was significant for the 450th first team appearance of second row Oli Borman, a feat unlikely to be repeated. He led the side out onto a heavy pitch with a strong wind blowing at Morley’s back in the first half.
The game started at a frantic pace, with both sides aiming to shrug off some indifferent form and establish an early advantage. Longville cleared his lines well despite the breeze and Davies probed the edges of the ruck, breaking well from his own twenty-two, linking well with captain Robinson before a knock-on ended the early attack. Despite the bright start it was Morley who opened the scoring, with a well-struck penalty from just inside the Driffield half.
Driffield’s set-piece was strong all day, more than matching the bigger opposition eight in the scrum and pinching a couple of lineouts against the throw. Dinsdale, Cullen and Maling were all prominent in carrying the fight to the opposition and the outstanding Jenkinson led the defensive effort. Driffield’s defence was tested on the half-hour when a penalty allowed Morley field position deep in Driffield territory. They repelled the initial attack, but a smart offload from Ellis in midfield looked to have unlocked the defence before last ditch tackling forced a knock-on.
A scrappy end to the half saw Dinsdale swoop on a loose pass from the Morley scrum half, but he was isolated and penalised for holding on the ball allowing Chester to extend the lead to 6-0 at half time.
The Woldsmen started the second half brightly, with Brumfield pinching a scrum against the head, allowing Davies to attack the blindside. His offload found Brankley who chipped through and gave Driffield field position from which they forced a penalty. Watts pushed a long-range attempt just wide.
Defences were still on top and it took a fortunate bounce combined with outstanding skill to notch the first try of the day. A clearing kick evaded the Driffield defence and bounced straight into Chester’s hands. He linked well with his support and Morley recycled the ball several times, eventually finding its way to Chester again. He kicked cross-field for his winger, who scooped the ball up from his toes, and offloaded out of a last-ditch tackle to his supporting man who scored in the corner. The conversion was short leaving the score 11-0.
This stung Driffield into action, with Longville to the fore. His attack, carried on by Jenkinson, saw Driffield held up over the line, earning a scrum five meters from the line. A solid scrum saw Brankley break from the base before being penalised allowing Morley to relieve the pressure. The respite was short-lived, with Longville and Dinsdale combining to create Driffield’s try. Longville attacked the defensive line and a short pass found Dinsdale who muscled through the line. He tried to round the full back but was scragged down and he returned the ball to Longville who scored next to the posts for Watts to convert.
Driffield pushed hard to find another try, but Morley’s defence was resolute, leaving the final score 11-7 and meaning the Woldsmen took home a solitary bonus point. A week off follows, before two local derbies in a row against Pocklington and Malton.