Driffield went into Saturday’s derby with Pocklington aiming to register their first victory of the new year. The Woldsmen had been second best in the first game between the two sides with Pocklington claiming their first win of the season and Driffield their first loss.
Driffield kicked off with a strong wind behind them and were quickly into their stride. Two penalties enabled the home side to kick deep into Pocklington territory and, after winning the lineout, the ball found its way to Longville. He moved into space and found Kelly who sped into the corner. Watts was unable to convert.
Pocklington were already beginning to exert dominance in the scrum, and they were using that to work their way upfield. Driffield’s defence, led by Jenkinson and Sowersby, held firm and forced a turnover. Driffield moved this wide and attacked space. Dinsdale drew the full back and put Robinson into the corner. Watts hit the post leaving the score 10-0. This was to set the pattern for the game – Pocklington dominating the tight, but Driffield looking dangerous with the ball in hand, unafraid to run from deep.
Pocklington made their forward superiority count with a catch and drive from a penalty, mauling the ball over the line from twenty yards out. This was unconverted to leave the score at the end of a scrappy half 10-5. Pocklington had dominated possession and this meant Driffield had been unable to use the wind and gain a territorial advantage.
Pocklington started the second half in much the same way as they had ended the first, using their scrum to exert pressure. From a scrum penalty they kicked to touch, and from the resulting lineout won another penalty which lead to Turner receiving a yellow card. Under serious pressure, Driffield won a penalty of their own and, rather surprisingly, Dench followed Turner to the sidelines for a ten minute rest. Pocklington took advantage of their numerical advantage and pushed the home side over the line to take the lead with a converted try.
Behind for the first time, Driffield were stung into action and Longville stamped his mark on the game. Pouncing on the ball from an overthrown lineout, he stepped through the oncoming defenders and made the half-way line before chipping the ball through. Pocklington’s full back claimed the ball but Driffield earned the turnover and Dinsdale took a short pass to score near the posts allowing Watts to convert.
Pocklington hit straight back when a charged down kick saw Driffield on their heels. A chip through from Pollock bounced awkwardly for Blacker and Pocklington’s winger pounced to level the score. Driffield took the restart but Pocklington won a penalty in kicking position which was converted to take the lead 20-17.
With time running out Driffield upped the pace and stretched the Pocklington defence. First Dinsdale made ground down the clubhouse side of the pitch, before Pocklington gave a penalty away in the middle of the pitch. Watts went quickly and the ball was moved across the field. Pocklington infringed and Watts went quickly again, wriggling through tackles to score. His conversion hit the post again.
With time running out, Driffield kept playing with Longville again breaking from deep, linking with Blacker. Now deep in Pocklington’s half, Driffield controlled possession keeping the ball tight and running down the clock to claim the victory by two points.
Another local derby awaits next weekend, this time at Malton.