1st XV travel to Ilkley RUFC, while the 2nds, 3rds and 4ths are all at home against Doncaster Phoenix 2nds, Beverley 2nds and Hull Ionians 4th respectively.
We last played Ilkley in the leagues in the 2014/15 season with Ilkley winning both games : 27-22 at Driffield and 48-16 at Ilkley. That season saw Ilkley promoted as champions of North One East. They have since enjoyed life in the North Premier division, until last season when they were relegated, finishing bottom of the league with 12 points. Ilkley were the only team with a 100% win record in the league until Moortown turned them over last weekend with a last-minute score, winning the game 18-17. That result meant Ilkley stayed in 2nd position in the league and we stayed top. Ilkley have had 4 wins so far : they beat Cleckheaton 19 – 15, Old Brods 36 – 12 and Consett 82 – 0 all at home. They also won at Morpeth 31 – 3. This means they have 20 points, 1 point behind us, which included 3 Try Bonus and 1 Losing Bonus points.
Driffield will be travelling knowing what a tough task is in front of them, maybe made even tougher with their loss to Moortown last weekend. However, I know the Driffield boys are ready for the contest and will be giving it all they can to bring back another 5 points.
Last weekend Driffield fielded a side with lots of changes, in their game against Otley in the 1st round of the Yorkshire Cup, when compared with the previous week’s team. Whilst Otley didn’t have all their 1st team on show, they still presented a tough side. The final score was 59 – 14 to Otley, but the score really did not reflect the game. Driffield started very slowly and were maybe guilty of giving Otley too much respect in the first half. When Driffield got their heads in the game we competed very well, scoring a couple of nice tries. A very good effort from the lads, and again showing our strength throughout the club. A couple of lads playing had been mostly playing 3rd team before this game.
The week before we had one of best performances for a few years as we sent Morpeth home with nothing. I suspect the part of the day they might have enjoyed would have been the the 170 ladies in attendance for our Ladies Day. Driffield got straight to the task at hand, and had most likely secured the win within the first 30 minutes. However, we have been there before over the last few seasons, and on this occasion there was no relaxing of the reins as we went on to score 46 points in driving rain for most of the game. Again a superb effort.
A few injuries, illness and unavailability have led to some changes in the squad: Nellen and Pettinger are replaced by Dervey and Blenkinsop, Ramsden stays on at hooker. James Dinsdale picked up a knock last weekend so is replaced by Forbes who joins Turner in the second row. In the back row, Jenkinson, Mewburn (c) and Brankley. Just one change in the backs as Blacker replaces Short on the wing. Sowersby is on the bench.
A full house at Kelleythorpe, so plenty of action if you want to have a wander down. The 2nd XV look to continue their fine form as they welcome Doncaster Phoenix – the second time these two have met in two weeks. Hopefully they will turn them over again. The 3rd XV have their third game of the season, against Beverley 2nds. The 3rd XV had a good win against Malton 3rds last weekend, with Jeremy Harrison playing in his 600th senior match. The 4th XV officially open their season against Hull Ionians.
Driffield Rufc 1ST XV v Ilkley RUFC 1st XV, Saturday 16/10/2021. KO 3PM
- Mewburn (c)
- Murray, Ryan
- Sowersby, Jack
Good luck to all in Blue, Black and White