A 10-try thriller at Feathers Field ended all square as Pocklington took their chances well against one of Yorkshire’s form sides of the season.
Middlesborough have been scoring points for fun in recent weeks, but Pocklington caught them cold as they snapped up a loose ball for fullback Aaron Tait to score with a strong run down the left.
And Pocklington went 10 points up as they kicked downfield from the restart, stole the visitors’ lineout and moved the ball smartly along the backs for Tait to join the line and race over.
Pocklington charity got Middlesborough back into the game with a charged down kick, and the Teesiders’ strong pack took over as they turned the tables with two tries in quick succession - bursting over on the blind side, then going ahead for the first time from a quick tap penalty. But Pocklington got back on track when they turned over Middlesborough posession to produce the opening for Tait to burst through to the posts for his hat-trick, scrum-half David Davison kicking the first conversion of the day to give the home side a 17-15 interval lead.
It was just as close in the second period as the advantage swung one way and then the other. Middlesborough struck first with a converted back try to retake the lead before the Pocklington back row led their response - No.8 Will Rhodes blasting upfield inside his own half and drawing the last man to send flanker Josh Britton diving over in the corner to again level matters.
Middlesborough’s strong rucking produced another converted try for the visitors and Pocklington went into the last 10 minutes trailing by seven points. But the home side raised their efforts. With prop Grant Walker having a strong game on his comeback, Pocklington took the game to Middlesborough and a pop pass from a ruck 10 yards out saw centre Sam Beales power over, with fly-half Dan Elliot kicking the important conversion to make it all square for a fourth time.
Pocklington had some late pressure as they went all out for a winner, but Middlesborough responded with strong defence and the draw was a fair result.
Tait’s hat-trick was the perfect way for him to celebrate his call-up for the North of England under-16s final trial at Wilmslow this weekend. Tait was part of the successful Yorkshire side that won all its three games before Christmas, the Pocklington and Woldgate flier being a try-scorer in the big win over Cheshire.
He is now in the final squad of 42 boys for the final North trial after coming through last week’s first selection weekend at Leeds.