Miserable weather greeted the Woldsmen’s return to Kelleythorpe for the visit of Northern on Saturday. Driffield were hoping to get back to winning ways after the disappointment of the previous week’s reverse at Dinnington. Burns returned to the back row with Gray back at scrum-half. Dinsdale moved into the centre leaving Piercy and Lawrence on the wings.
Driffield started brightly, controlling the slippy ball well and moving the big Northern pack around. Dinsdale settled the early nerves when he opened the scoring inside ten minutes. He added a second soon after with an excellent team try : Cullen broke from the base of a scrum, showing his power and pace. He offloaded to Burns who moved it to Mewburn. Driffield recycled and Furbank fizzed the ball to Dinsdale who got on the outside of his man and showed his pace to cross in the corner. Driffield showed a real appetite to play an expansive game and several times their offloads created the opportunity to get in behind the opposition and cause them problems.
Cullen took the attack to the visitors again, with a break from deep in his own half. Piercy carried the play on, before he found Mewburn, once again close in support. A Northern infringement gave Dearing the chance to increase the score and he added the three points.
Driffield weren’t allowing the visitors into the game and they had a chance to extend their advantage with a penalty kicked to the corner. Brumfield had been prominent around the field in the opening quarter, tackling well, and his throwing was accurate all day long. Driffield won the line out, but turned the ball over and allowed Northern to clear. Another solid line out saw Douglas carry strongly, before Cooper took play on. Gray moved the ball to Furbank and a slick move saw Piercy cross for a converted try.
Sensing the chance to grab the bonus point, Driffield kept attacking and got their reward when Burns touched down after a push over in the scrum. Langkilde came off the bench and belied his size, twice showing deft hands. First he put Cullen through another gap, and he made 30 yards, before arriving in support and changing the point of attack cleverly. This attack came to nothing and Driffield arrived at half time, leading 25-0.
Driffield started the second half in a similar vein. Continuing to move the ball around, Piercy found himself in space and he glided through the middle of the field. The ball came to Furbank who sold a big dummy and strolled in for a try, converted by Dearing to make the score 32-0.
Northern had taken a while to come into the game, but once they did they posed Driffield problems suggesting their league position will be temporary. They notched their first try when a kick to touch allowed them to get field position. Line out duly won, the ball was moved into the backs and a sharp angle allowed the centre to cross. They went straight back on the attack, moving the ball to the wing and outflanking Driffield, but cover defence snuffed out the chance.
Driffield hit back with a try from a quick tap, after a scrum had marched 15 yards towards the Northern line, allowing Gray to profit. Dinsdale converted from the touchline. Northern had the last say with a converted try after a quick tap saw them cross under the posts. Final score 39-14.
This was a good win for Driffield in what was a tricky game. They mastered the conditions and subdued a Northern side that looked dangerous in the second half once they got their hands on the ball. The back row was prominent all game, Burns at number eight making the right decision every time he had the ball and controlling the game. Cullen caught the eye with several barnstorming breaks and Mewburn was a constant menace, linking play in attack and cutting down runners in defence. Furbank varied play well at fly half, turning the visitors around in the second half with some long clearances and getting the back line moving.
Next week sees the second long trip to Penrith this season and Driffield will hope to take the field this time in what could be a season-defining clash.