Pocklington Pilgrims faced a Driffield team full of pace and youth at Kilnwick Park on Saturday. The Pilgrims, down on numbers due to work commitments and a growing injury list, knew they would have to dig deep.
The game started in the usual fashion for the Pilgrims, going three points down within five minutes and being heavily on the back foot for the first quarter of the game. The task ahead became even more daunting with a harsh sending off with fewer than 10 minutes played. Nevertheless, Pilgrims have had their spirit tested before and have always stepped up to the mark as a unit when faced with adversity.
The relentless wind at Kilnwick was always going to make this a hard hitting forwards game. However, the fight back began with sweet moves from makeshift centre Rob Atherton and steam roller fullback Kenny Strangeway, both touching down in the first half to put the Pilgrims ahead. The first half kicks at goal are best left where they ended up, well wide of the mark.
The second half was potentially going to be even tougher for the Pilgrims, uphill in the heavy going and with the wind more to the favour of Driffield.
Although the Driffield team attacked with dogged determination this game was not going to be let go by the Pilgrims, their back line held firm and everyone tackled hard, especially Rob Parsons and the ever young Andy Richardson, with Parsons being very close to his second MOM award in successive weeks.
The Pilgrims forwards started to build momentum towards the Driffield line and, after successive drives, the huge frame of Adam Pannett slipped a hand through to claim the next try, this time the boot of Danny Mudd held true. The pressure continued and following last week’s typo out-stand-in No 8 Tim Hughes slipped several defenders from the back of a maul to claim the next, again the boot of Mudd held firm.
By this stage the Pilgrims backs were starting to feel the cold and true to form the forwards relinquished their white line fever a little. The next attack followed yet another hard fought uncontested scrum allowing the now free flowing backs to set Strangeway off on a meandering run, supported by debutant Danny Hedges. The pass was slipped to Hedges to score the Pilgrims fifth try of the game followed by yet another conversion into the wind. A determined Pilgrims defence, led by man of the match Mark Rogers, now had to keep the Driffield attack out for the last five minutes, which it ably did.