Pocklington 52 Old Crossleyans 0
Pocklington overpowered higher-ranked Old Crossleyans to win convincingly, with six of their seven tries coming in the second half.
It was Pocklington’s sixth successive North 1 East win, but though Crossleyans are above them in the table, they have been on a downward spiral losing four on the trot.
However, there was little between the sides in the scoreless opening half hour. Both sides looked to run the ball; but Pocklington started to build the pressure with strong charges from forwards and backs and some big hits to knock Crossleyans backwards when they tried to reply.
Initially Pocklington’s problem was that they dropped the ball whenever they got in the attack zone, but they came again down both wings before replacement Ben Rees fed centre Jack Holbrough to blast over from ten yards, fullback Nick Bennett kicked the touchline conversion then added one penalty from two attempts to make it 10-0 at the break.
Pocklington stepped up a level in the second half as their young forwards revelled in the fast conditions, with flanker Ben Stephenson to the fore.
Pocklington’s offloading game was back to its best as they increasingly attacked from deep, but it was a close range lineout catch and drive that brought the next score from prop Chris Morton, converted by Bennett.
After the forwards had battered up the middle the backs took over for wing Billy Hardy to cross on the overlap and Bennett’s third conversion put them out of sight at 24-0.
Crossleyans had never really threatened a score but when they were given an interception chance Morton showed the home work ethic by chasing back to make the tackle and turnover.
Pocklington went straight back on the offensive to dominate the final quarter with forwards and backs combining in thrilling style. They were back to their best of the past couple of years with a high tempo game based on well executed offloads and energetic backing up. Powerful wing Tim Nixon galloped in from long range after a Jack Holbrough line break, then Bennett grabbed a try double as he twice linked up from fullback – the first from slick pops and passes and the second after Stephenson carved through the middle and the remaining forwards provided quick ball for the overlap.
Crossleyans kept plugging away but really had no answer for Pocklington’s superior power and fitness. Inside the final minute a series of penalty awards gave Crossleyans some hope and respite, but it was to no avail as Nixon picked off an interception to race in from halfway and take the score to the 50 point mark. Bennett completed his good day with the boot with his fourth conversion of the half giving him eight goals from nine attempts and a personal tally of 27 points.