A much-changed Driffield side made the short trip to Malton for another much anticipated local derby. Conditions were well-suited to an open game with a gentle breeze and clear skies, with only the slope to contend with.
Driffield started up the slope and made a bright start, moving the ball around and testing the home defence. A chip-in behind from Longville turned Malton around but they served notice of their intent, running the ball from deep and only a last-ditch tackle deep in Driffield territory prevented the opening score. Malton kept the pressure on but Driffield’s defence held firm and it was the visitors who opened the scoring. A midfield penalty was kicked to touch and Driffield’s forwards edged forwards. The ball was moved to Longville whose flat pass found Dench hitting a gap. His offload found Dinsdale and he crossed under the posts for Watts to convert.
Malton had the chance to hit straight back with a penalty from a high tackle, but the ball hit the post and Driffield cleared their lines. Malton kept attacking and Driffield were second best in the battle on the floor. Malton were awarded another penalty in front of the posts, but this was also missed.
Still Malton attacked and it was only solid defence from Dinsdale and the back row that kept the home side scoreless. The visitors’ defence finally cracked after Walgate was sent to the sin bin, and Malton kept the ball tight until they burrowed over the line to even up the score-line at half time.
Driffield would have been satisfied with the half and hoping for good game management in the second half using the slope to their advantage, but it was Malton who started the second half brightest. Malton pinched the ball from a Driffield scrum and good offloading from the half-backs created space for a converted try from the centre.
Driffield kept trying to create, with both Jenkinson and Brankley making breaks but the last pass wouldn’t go to hand and with that the chance to build pressure on Malton. Malton extended their lead with a try out wide. After moving the ball through the backs a fantastic tackle from Brankley halted the move, but supporting players kept the move going and drove over the line to score, well-converted from the touchline.
Sowersby came on at scrum-half with Watts moving to fly-half and this brought a good spell for Driffield with Watts, Dinsdale and Longville all looking dangerous. However, passes still wouldn’t stick, and it was Malton who finished the scoring with another converted try. Swooping on a loose ball in midfield the home winger scythed through the Driffield defence. Yet again, good scrambling defence brought him down but his offload was picked up superbly by supporting players and the try scored under the posts to leave the final score 28-7.