It was just about a case of all’s well that ends well as Pocklington overcame major adversity to win at struggling Dinnington.
Pocklington deserve credit for digging in and winning after a build-up which saw their journey take far longer than it should have. Nevertheless, it was a disjointed performance on a disrupted day and the team knows it will have to step up considerably for the bigger challenges to come in the next few weeks.
Despite the minimum of a warm up, Pocklington were soon a-tacking and had the better of the early stages. After 10 minutes they forced an offensive scrum seven yards out, attacked from the base and No 9 Ben Rees blasted over, Nick Bennett converting.
It was looking good for Pocklington as they ran back a high kick, the pack trundled upfield from a catch and drive then the backs took over again and were almost through in midfield, Dinnington infringing in front of their posts and fullback Bennett kicking the penalty.
On the half hour, flanker Karl Durkin took a quick tap just inside his own half, swift passes got the ball wide to centre Tim Nixon who cut strongly up the middle then offloaded inside to Tom Peters 35 yards out. The young lock then sold an outrageous dummy and galloped over for a stunning try, the conversion hitting the post and coming out.
The second try put Pocklington in a good position with a 15-point lead, but the longer the first half went on, the more Pocklington were dragged into a scrappy dogfight by a determined Dinnington side. Though Pocklington maintained a clear edge in the set pieces, the breakdown became a lottery with Dinnington spoiling effectively and Pocklington being increasingly penalised.
Despite being up the slope and into the sun, Pocklington started the second half in hope and expectation of putting the game to bed. But they continued to be unable to get any continuity and their life was made more difficult when Nixon was harshly sin-binned when a strong tackle was adjudged high.
It got worse as they were penalised six times in a row and Dinnington kicked the last to reduce the arrears to 3-15. The restart at last gave Pocklington field position and fly half Joe Holbrough almost wrestled through to the line. A Dinnington player killed the ball and went to the bin, but Pocklington’e eagerness cost them, as both forwards and backs had a good opportunity to score, only for poor execution seeing the chance go begging. Inevitably it ended with Pocklington being penalised and Dinnington kicking clear.
Dinnington also had a few strong running individuals, but Pocklington’s tackling was functioning with its usual efficiency and the home side were unable to make headway. However, Pocklington continued to struggle to establish any attacking platform and whenever they got a position in Dinnington territory they invariably lost possession or were penalised. They suffered further disjunction with a series of late injuries that saw four substitutions, including an appearance for Matt Davies, after a whole year out of action.
Pocklington tried the odd blindside thrust only to run out of space and the game meandered to a close. The result was never in doubt, but rivals Driffield and Bridlington both moved closer at the top of the Yorkshire One table thanks to an extra try bonus point. Nevertheless, Pocklington ended pleased to finish such a difficult day with the four-point win which still leaves them in pole position.