Entertaining end to 2011-12 season

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Pocklington.....................................................................58

President’s XV..................................................................0

After a well-contested first half, Pocklington’s strength and stamina overwhelmed the President’s men in the second period as they pulled away to a comprehensive victory.

The President’s side had some useful players, though several were occasional veterans who were making returns to Percy Road where they had seen glory earlier in their careers, and their experience was to the fore as there was nothing between the sides in the opening quarter.

But Pocklington, understandably, had the edge in teamwork, and quick hands moved the ball along the line to send Billy Hardy diving over in the cormer to open the scoring.

It continued to be closely contested, with Pocklington eventually getting another score after a period of intense pressure that saw them twice held up over the line, wing Dan Pickard twisting over for his side’s second try.

It remained 10-0 until first-half injury time when fullback Henry Mitchell joined the line and broke clear to score before limping off with a hamstring strain, Joe Holbrough converting.

At 17-0 at the break, the President’s side were still in with a shout, even when centre Hardy cut through to the posts at the start of the second half. But fatigue was already starting to creep in to the play of the President’s non-regulars and, when the invitation side butchered a golden try opportunity, Pocklington ruthlessly counter attacked to give Pickard a long run in to score.

That just about put Pocklington out of sight, and, in keeping with the consistency of their performance all season, they never relaxed, remained focused and kept up the pressure in defence and attack.

The result was a flurry of quality tries in the final half hour. Hardy sliced through on the diagonal for his hat-trick, then Joe Holbrough broke in midfield before handing on to replacement Matt Davies who finished with a swan dive and added the conversion.

After a forward catch and drive, Pickard got his third by crashing in at the corner, then the Holbrough brothers combined 50 yards down the left flank for Jack to score.

The interplay between forwards and backs has been another feature of Pocklington’s play this season, and it was amply demonstrated as the two home locks, Tom Peters and Chris Hyde, broke from deep in their own half then waited for teenage threequarter Teddy Chapman to catch up and go under the posts. And they finished on a high note with another bout of high speed offloading that sent in back row Ben Stephenson, with Joe Holbrough tacking on the final two conversions to end an entertaining day for the big crowd.