Driffield welcome Wilmslow RUFC to Kelleythorpe for our first ever meeting, with a place in the North Premier League the prize.
It is a massive game for both clubs. Driffield haven’t played in such a game for getting on 19 years, when we had to beat Chester by a big score to get promotion out of what I believe was called North One at the time. From reading up about Wilmslow, this is the biggest game in their history.
Our opponents come in to this game after finishing 2nd in North One West, 1 point ahead of Northwich. The position was decided 2 weeks ago after Wilmslow beat league champions Vale of Lune 37 – 22 in their re-arranged fixture. Their playing record for the season is P24, W16, L8. Like us, Wilmslow are on a winning streak, having won their last 6 league games. We get home advantage due to our higher number of league points.
As mentioned above, Driffield finished the season in great form. It was back on the 10th of February (7 matches) since we last lost, going down 29 – 24 at Penrith. That form saw us finish 2nd in the league, 5 points behind champions Alnwick, and 7 ahead of 3rd place West Leeds.
It has now been 3 weeks since our last match. I know the boys have been working hard in training to keep up their match fitness, for what will be great game. The three weeks have also given us time for a few injuries to heal up, meaning we will go into the game with only 1 concern : prop Alessandro Zavatti with a slight hamstring tweak. Other than that Coops, Bash and Mitch will be selecting from a full squad. Will Burns has returned from Yorkshire U20s, Dench has recovered from his end of season injury and Oliver Borman, who made an appearance in our last must-win game 19 years ago, will be in the squad again.
The Driffield committee are expecting a bumper crowd, having drafted in extra staff to oversea car parking (which will be on the D & A Auction site for match traffic : the main club car park will be closed apart from guests to dinner, players and away coaches). We have also installed an outside bar, and we have provided extra food, through Bert’s Pizzeria.
It has been a fantastic effort to finish second in our league this season. It turned out to be tight right up to the last round of matches. One more effort will see us in North Premier, playing teams such as Blaydon, Harrogate and maybe Wharfedale.
Come down and support us in our final match of the season, KO is 3pm.
Good luck to everyone, especially those in Blue, Black and White.