Pocklington hammer Hills to reclaim pole position

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Pocklington went back to the top of North One East with a 10-try, 61-0 home victory over winless Wheatley Hills.

The hosts were out of sight and had the bonus point in the bag at 32-0 up at the interval, going on to record their biggest win of the season and scoring five tries in each half despite never really firing on all cylinders.

After Jonty Peters had kicked a long-range penalty in the third minute, Pocklington put together a multi-passing attack with Matt Procter directing operations from fly- half.

They moved play left, then back crossfield to right wing Josh Britton, a late injury call up at 11pm on Friday, who was set free to go in at the corner.

Ben Rees peppered the visiting back three with his box kicks and Britton swiftly snapped up a dropped Hills’ catch to send centre Joe Holbrough powering over, Peters converting.

Pock were scoring at a point a minute as forwards and backs combined for number eight Jack Holbrough to plunge in, Peters again converting.

Then Joe Holbrough made the initial thrust, the pack battered up the middle and lock Archie Fothergill’s curving run and long pass gave Britton his second touchdown.

Wheatley Hills’ defensive effort was becoming increasingly desperate, and their declining fortunes suffered further as two men were sent to the bin during sustained home pressure at the Oval end.

Pock kicked the penalties into the corner and completed their first half account with a simple line-out try, the middle ball off the top being popped down into a gap for prop Chris Morton to stroll over unopposed from close range.

Wheatley Hills never threatened a try, but their best spell at the start of the second period soon floundered against Pocklington’s aggressive defence.

However, Pock took time to get their attacking game back into gear despite territorial dominance, trying to batter over from three five-metre scrums before finally putting some phases together for improving flanker Owen Jackson to stretch out of the tackle to score, Peters converting.

Then full-back Jed Jackson darted down the right, lock Karl Durkin cut infield and the ball was recycled for Morton to bullock over on the left.

Pocklington coasted home in the final quarter, despite the cold and greasy conditions seeing a spate of handling mistakes scupper some promising attacks.

From a line-out on halfway Jack Holbrough broke through and the fleet-footed Britton was on his shoulder to sprint in for his hat-trick try.

Pocklington finished on a high, running the ball from their own half and handing on to Morton 40 metres out.

The big prop’s eyes lit up at the prospect of him also bagging a hat-trick, hitting the afterburners down the clubhouse side and roared on by the big touchline support as he rampaged over for his third and Pocklington’s 10th touchdown of the day.

Pocklington’s first team have a week off this Saturday as there is no scheduled league game.

But the unbeaten Panthers are at home to BP Chemicals in a merit league encounter (kick-off 2.15 pm), while the England v France international will be on the big screen in the clubhouse at 4.50pm.

With previous leaders Penrith surprisingly losing at Morpeth last Saturday, Pocklington went three points clear at the top of the North One East table, but they are away to Penrith in their next game on February 4.

The Pocklington team for Penrith will travel up on Friday evening and stay over in Kendal with the bus returning after the game on Saturday.

Any supporters interested in joining the trip please contact Tony Penn (07946 533660) promptly for more details.

There is a full programme of junior rugby on Sunday.