Pocklington gave a textbook display of how not to play with the wind at Driffield, and it rendered their courageous second half performance insufficient as they went down narrowly at Driffield. Pocklington’s indiscipline also cost them as they lost two forwards to the sin bin at key moments.
Yara sponsored Pocklington made a strong start and exerted sustained forward pressure from the kick off. Two five metre scrums were followed by a lineout catch and drive that was finished by flanker Jack Holbrough for a seventh minute try, Nick Bennett converting from out wide.
Driffield made a dangerous break the first time they had the ball but were halted in their tracks by big tackles from fullback Bennett and skipper Ben Rees, playing at centre after a last minute reshuffle when Pete Massie pulled out with a foot injury. Pocklington then applied more pressure but were being pulled back at frequent intervals and Driffield took play to the other end to get an easy penalty.
Pocklington worked hard to get back into home territory and, after another series of thrusts, they gained a straightforward penalty in the 28th minute which Bennett kicked for a 10-3 lead.
However, things then started to unravel for Pocklington. They collected the restart but declined to use the strong wind to kick for position, and continued to be penalised to be unneccessarily pinned in their own half. A Pocklington forward was sin binned after a pack skirmish and, as half time approached, Pocklington had to hold out as Driffield pressed.Pocklington were penalised at a scrum on their own line, and when the rescrum broke up the referee awarded a penalty try to make it 10-10 at the interval.
That put Driffield in the driving seat with the wind to come in the second period. And it got worse for Pocklington within five minutes of the restart as a poor pass put them in trouble on halfway. They initially recovered the greasy ball, then lost it again and Driffield hacked on then followed up to collect the bounce for a converted try.
Having gone behind for the first time in the game, Pocklington were now up against it. However, forwards then stepped up their efforts to take control up front. Good pack drives had Driffield backpedalling and the penalties started to go Pock’s way with Bennett cutting the gap with a good kick. But Driffield did use the wind to gain good territory and soon kicked a penalty to stretch the lead to seven points again.
Despite Driffield having the lead they were staring to tire and Pocklington’s forwards now had the initiative. There were big tackles on both sides before Pocklington forced a penalty in the bottom corner.
Their initial pack drive was held but play was switched to the backs where fly half Joe Holbrough ran a midfield scissors that saw Tim Nixon come off his wing to carve through to the posts, Bennett converting.
Having worked so hard to get back on terms, the game was there for the taking for Pocklington. But from the kick-off they again gave away a needless penalty that saw another Pocklington forward sent to the bin and Driffield kick the resultant penalty to edge back in front.
The closing quarter of an hour saw the Pocklington pack and midfield trying to batter forward in search of another score, but Driffield were tackling firmly then using the wind to kick long down the middle at every opportunity. The home tactics worked as Pocklington were forced to keep running it back from deep, and it enabled Driifield to hang on for victory.