Woldsmen earn second victory

The Newitts-sponsored Woldsmen welcomed Huddersfield YMCA to Kelleythorpe on a windy Saturday afternoon. The two sides have met regularly over recent years before YMCA’s promotion to the national leagues two years ago. Although they were relegated last season, the experience gained meant Driffield knew they would be in for a tough afternoon.

Adam Brankley made a welcome first appearance of the season and harry sheader stepped up to the bench, but the home side were able to field a relatively settled side once again.

The game started at pace with both sides looking dangerous. Driffield won a penalty, and George Mewburn carried deep into the visitors defence. Driffield were awarded a scrum, but unusually lost it against the head, and YMCA were able to clear the lines using the wind well. Driffield continued to press but handling errors at crucial moments let the momentum slip away.

Slick handling from the backs created an opportunity for Short, but he was well tackled by the visitors centre. YMCA were not short of attacking ideas and they made a break through the middle, but Driffield scrambled well and snuffed out the chance.

After an even first twenty, it was Driffield who struck first. Gray won a penalty at the base of a scrum which was kicked to the corner. Lineout won, Piercey carried strongly in midfield. Cooper had a go, before the ball found its way to Furbank. He showed impressive determination to score, carrying defenders over the line. Brigham converted. The woldsmen struck again almost immediately, with a try from deep. Slick hands in midfield created space for Stephenson. He showed his pace and made a break on the outside before getting the ball away to Dinsdale. He kept hold of the ball well under pressure. A pop found George Mewburn hitting the ball at pace and he offloaded to Brankley who touched down minutes after entering the fray. 12-0 with half an hour gone. Brigham added a penalty before an electric break by Gray earned the woldsmen another penalty which Brigham duly slotted to take the half time score to 18-0.

YMCA started the second half well, breaking from their own 22 and stretching Driffield. Resolute defence forced a knock on and gave Driffield chance to compose themselves, which the did in style. Good hands found Piercey in space. He drew the full back and found Dinsdale who pinned his ears back for the corner. He was brought down by an great tackle from the visitors open side, who was excellent all game. YMCA turned the ball over and cleared their lines but only as far as Short who returned the ball at pace and showed good strength to make a half break. Quick recycling saw Brankley surging onto the ball and his offload found cooper who couldn’t be stopped from close range. Brigham converted to make it 25-0.

Minutes later Driffield added another try. Brumfield won the ball against the head in the scrum and the ball was moved to Stephenson. He beat his man and made yards before passing to Dinsdale, who this time made it into the corner. Brigham converted from the touch line. At 32-0 ahead with 15 minutes gone in the second half, Driffield could have been forgiven for easing off. They looked to have their eyes on keeping a clean sheet as their defence was excellent. YMCA had their best spell of the game, stretching the woldsmen from side to side and controlling the ball well. Both flankers were prominent during this time and they proved difficult for Driffield to bring down at times. Running the ball from deep, YMCA made a good break. A desperate tap tackle from Brigham brought the man down and Stephenson swooped on the loose ball. A quick shimmy and he was away under the posts. Furbank adding the extras this time.

YMCA finished with two tries of their own. A break down the blind side by the back row drew a penalty as Driffield scrambled desperately. The ball was moved left and touched down in the corner. With the final play of the game, they added their second. A chip through was well tidied up by Dinsdale, but his clearing kick didn’t find touch. This was well taken by the visitors front rower who spun the ball to the right. A strong break from number 12 pierced the home defence and he touched down to make the final score 39-10.

This was the eighth time the club has hosted ladies day and the team put on an excellent display against strong opposition. It is difficult to single players out as everyone played very well, but up front Cooper has started the season well. He carries strongly and makes himself a nuisance around the pitch. Brankley adds another dimension in the back row with his aggression and George Mewburn was excellent again, carrying at pace to complement his defensive work. In the backs the centre partnership is blossoming. Solid in defence and dangerous in attack, both Piercy and Stephenson have started the season strongly. Gray showed his class again and it is good to see him getting a run of games after several years out. Captain Dervey knits it all together and the team spirit is obvious, particularly in the defensive work of the side. Form goes out of the window next week with a trip to Malton for the second local derby of the season.