There was a contrast of styles as Pocklington entertained Selby at the Kilnwick Road ground, Selby’s strength and aggression pitted against the hosts’ passing and running style.
With both sides looking a little rusty in the early stages, after the enforced winter break, it looked like the visitors’ aggression would give them the edge, but their ill-discipline let them down as constant back-chat to the referee worked against them.
As for the home side, though they looked dangerous with the ball in hand, the pack lacked cohesion. Individual heroics couldn’t hide the fact that they were not functioning as a unit. The scrappy first half seemed to be meandering to a scoreless draw until the visitors gave away a penalty in their own 22 for handling in the ruck.
The ball was worked quickly through the backs to John Soanes, who almost made it over, but managed to offload to Finlay Mooney on the loop to score in the corner.
Selby were still smarting as the second half got underway and took the game to Pocklington. A passage of good running rugby from them released their winger to level the scores in the same corner. The balance of the game was restored, with Selby dominating the scrums, and the hosts running the ball back at them at every opportunity.
A quick change of direction and pace by Mooney saw him breach the Selby defence to regain the lead, and Joe Laudage earned the extra points from the conversion. The visitors were stung into action yet again and a superb individual run by their centre, aided by a lack of conviction in the attempted tackling from the home defence, allowed them to score under the posts for an easy conversion, and a restoration of parity.
The home side had the final say, however, as Mooney chipped through and Soanes chased, the ball bouncing kindly into his arms as he outpaced the visitors’ defence and touched down for the winning score.
This was a good result for Pocklington and hopefully it will have blown away the cobwebs in time for the challenging matches to come in the next few weeks.