Hull Ionians Under-15.....................................................25
Pocklington’s unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday at Hull Ionians’ Brantingham Park ground.
The visitors showed no signs of ring-rustiness in the early exchanges as a flowing move set up a scrum close to the hosts’ try line. Joshua Parkinson picked up and darted over on the blind side. With a swirling wind it was no day for kicking conversions, and neither side had any luck with the boot throughout the match.
The early line-outs suffered too, as any ball to the back of the line was caught up in the breeze and whipped off course. Pocklington continued the attack playing into the wind, and another strong run by John Soanes drew in the defence and released Joe Laudage to score in the corner.
After this bright start to the game the wheels started to come off as poor decision-making backed up by mistakes and missed tackles let Ionians back into the game with two tries in quick succession. It didn’t end there either, as the hosts stretched the defence on halfway and released their winger for a try in the corner. The visitors rallied with an individual try by Charlie Sleigh, but the home side were not to be denied, as they danced through the visiting defence to establish a 20-15 half-time lead.
The hosts threatened to run away with the match early in the second half as they won a scrum against the head and charged through some despairing tackles to score under the posts. Pocklington tightened up defensively but, even with the wind in their favour, they were struggling to make any headway against the Ionians tackling.
Finally, late in the game, the ball was kicked over the home defence to push the play up towards the hosts’ 22. As the pressure mounted it seemed that the visitors contrived to butcher chance after chance to score, until Sleigh burst through for the final try of the match. It is possible that the draw for the semi-final of the Yorkshire Plate could see these two teams drawn against each other. If that is to be the case Pocklington can take comfort in the knowledge that they can play better than this.
Photo by Georgina Parkinson