Match report from last weekend’s trip to Dinnington

Driffield travelled to Dinnington on Saturday for their North East 1 fixture. Dinnington have always provided formidable opposition, with a strong pack and a very competent fly half in West, leading their backs. This season had only shown one win out five for them, so they too had a tough start.

The Driffield team sheet showed changes from the Malton defeat , with Short onto the wing for the unavailable Robinson, and Borman moving to the bench for Cooper. A chance on the bench was given to the ageless McClarron. Nobody in the Driffield team expected anything other than a tough and bruising contest and this is exactly what transpired.

From the kick off, early exchanges were fairly even. Dinnington were straight into their rhythm of rolling maul followed up by quick movement by their fly half, or using his excellent tactical kicking.

At the first scrum Driffield had the put in. As they expected, Dinnington applied pressure and managed to nudge them back, but No 8 Brankley and scrum half Gray were able to stem the tide and clear the ball. The next scrum allowed Driffield to respond themselves and showed it would not be one way traffic in the tight. After 5 minutes, Driffield, playing down the sloping pitch, exerted pressure in the opposition 22. A Dinnington clearance kick was caught close to touch by the covering Gray . He moved it quickly infield where Piercy made one of his trademark piercing incursions. At the resultant breakdown, on the 22 metre line, Dinnington were penalised. Brigham stepped up and kicked the penalty. Driffield 3 Dinnington 0.

From the kick off Dinnington were straight back into the game. Driffield’s defence was up to its usual high standard, but when Driffield went off their feet at a ruck, West kicked the equalising penalty. From the Driffield kick off Dinnington broke forward. Their centre made a break from the Driffield 10 metre line, and it was only a great chase and covering tackle by Dinsdale that saved a certain try.

Dinnington maintained their pressure and the ball was moved wide to their right wing. Piercy, who was covering him, seemed to go the wrong way as he attempted to tackle the him, and injured his leg with the impact. After initial treatment, he had to be helped from the pitch. Brankley moved into the centre, with Borman going into the second row.

Driffield showed that they had been working on their scrum, and at the next opportunity Brumfield took a strike against the head, but Burns was penalised driving forward, as he went to ground and failed to release the ball. Dinnington were starting to dominate territory. On 19 minutes Dinnington stole a Driffield lineout and drove into the Driffield 22. At a resultant scrum, Gray was pressured into fumbling the ball at the base, Dinnington won the ruck and their fly half was in the pocket for a drop goal. Driffield 3 Dinnington 6.

Driffield responded with some enterprising play, but the difference between the two sides revolved around more accuracy in the Dinnington game. Driffield are prone to lose possession after a lot of good approach work. Dinnington moved into the Driffield 22. Driffield held a good 5 metre scrum on Dinnington’s put in, but West ran a good line and scored the try, which he converted. Driffield were again put under pressure. Rob Mewburn, renowned for his durability, injured his shoulder in a tackle and reluctantly was led from the field. He was replaced by Pettinger, with Nellen moving to the back row. Dinnington extended their lead, when good movement down the left wing , and a good inside pass led to their second try, again converted. Driffield 3 Dinnington 20.

Driffield had to put the brakes on the scoreline somehow, and responded with a good run down the middle by Stephenson, but his pass went astray. This was a shame because they needed to protect their hard won possession. Driffield managed to regain possession. The pack drove well down the left. Gray released Furbank and following some good interplay, Dinsdale went over for a try wide out. Brigham kicked an excellent conversion Driffield 10 Dinnington 20.

Shortly before half time Burns was both penalised and yellow carded, when he was adjudged to have tackled a player without the ball in a relatively innocuous field position. Perhaps he was a bit unlucky.

Half time Driffield 10 Dinnington 20

Playing with one short due to the yellow card, Driffield started with some good movement Brankley laid the ball off to Pettinger who made good ground but lost the ball in the turnover. Dinnington responded and following repeated rucks close to the Driffield line, repulsed by resolute tackling from Borman, Cooper and George Mewburn, Dinnington squeezed over for a well deserved try.

Driffield, showing great spirit responded again. Gray made a good break, fed Furbank who scored out wide on the right. Brigham again made a difficult kick look easy. Driffield 17 Dinnington 27

When Burns returned to the field Driffield had the manpower to compete. A good run by Pettinger, continued on to Brumfield, then to Short. But Driffield again lost possession. From a Dinnington lineout on the Driff 22, their second row made a good catch as he was supported by his lifters and then proceeded to emulate a dying swan, feigning being illegally taken out by the Driffield lineout, and screaming for a penalty. The referee duly complied. Dinnington scored a converted try as a result of pressure from the penalty. Driffield 17 Dinnington 34

Dervey came off on 60 minutes to be replaced by young McClarron, with the front row shifting around and Brankley reverting to No 8. Dinnington soon added another try as their fly half started to take control of their game. and Driffield fought hard to reorganise. The conversion was missed. Driffield 17 Dinnington 39

Driffield would not be silenced. With a move down the right, Furbank put in a deft chip kick, which McClarron snapped up and went over for a try close to the flag. Brigham made another great conversion. Driffield 24 Dinnington 39

Yet more injuries were to blight Driffield’s afternoon. Gray had to come off with an ankle injury, with Stephenson providing cover at scrum half, followed shortly by a similar injury to Brankley. This meant both Dervey and Rob Mewburn returning to the field, both carrying injuries. This typified Driffield’s fighting spirit all afternoon.

Full Time Driffield 24 Dinnington 39

Another disappointment for Driffield. however there were positive aspects. They showed their inate ability to create scoring opportunities. In truth they would have been able to press more, with greater care with the final pass and general protection of the ball. Accuracy seems to be the watch word here. They were stretched at times, but this was understandable with the number of injuries sustained. Their tackling again was generally excellent. Once again they were contesting the scrum against much heavier opposition but ended up with parity. It is hoped that all the injuries are not too serious. No doubt the team physio will have a busy week.