Pocklington U16s entered two teams into Doncaster’s inaugural end of season sevens and came away victorious, to end their campaign with silverware.
The tournament was split into two leagues of five teams. Pocklington Whites, a side of mainly forwards marshalled by Mikey O’Malley, was first to play against Doncaster A.
The first half was difficult for the Pock lads with Doncaster playing good sevens rugby, scoring three tries. The second half saw Pock change tactics. Realising that sevens was not their strength, they went back to what they knew best. Sevens in a 10 metre channel is risky but amazingly the lads scored from a 60 metre maul with Charlie Whittington breaking free and going over.
Defence was immense, and with no further scores the result was a great effort.
Next up was York, a very experienced sevens team and fresh onto the field. The Pocklington lads could not get enough possession to make progress and eventually conceded defeat.
With a bit of rest, the lads’ spirits rose and they went out against Mosborough with a belief that they could win. With Elcock, Whittington, Collins, Cook and Watson leading from the front and Eade and Leiby feeding off good ball from O’Malley, the lads were starting to play well.
This created a chance for Watson, who crashed over for the first try. Pock continued to compete well but eventually went down to two tries from the Mosborough winger who was clearly the quickest player on the field. Still, another huge effort from a tiring team.
The last game was against Wath B and, despite aching limbs and sore feet, the lads lifted themselves for one last effort. This time their efforts and skills were rewarded with a 10-5 victory, Whittington racing the length of the field to score followed by Lieby going in the corner.
Despite a fightback from Wath, Pock held firm and were absolutely delighted with a victory and proof that forwards can play sevens.
In the second league, Pocklington Blues started their campaign against favourites West Park.
The game started at a frantic pace with the ball moving between hands quickly and, with Greswold marshalling the Pock line, there was not a lot between the teams until a piece of skill from Wilson - offloading to Barber who ran the length of the field opened the scoring.
This took the game to another level, with West Park firing their large mobile forwards into the line which eventually broke through the Pocklington defence to level the scores at half time.
The second half saw both teams giving 100 percent. However, West Park eventually broke through to score with pace that the Pock team could not match. With a final bizarre move, West Park closed the game following a pass from the Pock scrum half that hit the posts and ricocheted into the hands of a West Park forward to go over, 17-7 final score.
The next game was against a good Selby team who had aspirations of winning the festival.
The game started well for Pock, with Wilson going over following an interception on his own 22 and converted from the touchline by Greswold. Selby came back and put the pressure on Pocklington, eventually scoring twice with one conversion.
With only a minute to go, Pock won a scrum against the head and proceeded to work the ball back and forth looking for a gap. Eventually they worked an opening for Barber to break, on contact he offloaded to Richardson who raced through the Selby defence to score. Greswold made the conversion to secure an important win.
By securing the next two games Pock would win a place in the shield final, and this was achieved without too much trouble against Doncaster B in the next game and Wath A, who had given themselves a chance by beating Selby, in the last. Tries from Jackson, Ricardson and Wilson secured full points.
This meant that Pocklington now played York in the final of the shield. By this time, both teams were tired with Pock only having one sub per team it had been a hard day. However, their spirit continued, dominating the first half and being unlucky to be only one try ahead.
With the Pock line of Barber, Richardson, Wilson, Aconley, Smith and Ingle looking strong and well organised, York were struggling to make any progress.
However, off a scrum on the Pock 22m, they quickly moved through hands and touched down in the corner to level the scores. This was a wake up and the Pock lads raised themselves again and attacked the York line.
Eventually Jackson managed to break the line and run through to score under the posts. With time running out Pock stayed on top and Richardson finished off the job with his outstanding pace too much for the York
defence. Final score 21-5.
A tremendous effort from both teams and a great way to finish the season, well done to all the lads.