It’s another derby for Driffield’s 1st XV – this time we make the short trip across the Wolds to face Malton and Norton RUFC.

In the 1st meeting of the season, at Kelleythorpe, Driffield won 45 – 31.  Last season we managed the double over Malton, winning 15 – 22 at Malton and 38 – 0 at Kelleythorpe.  In fact, we go back to 2016 for Malton’s last win in the fixture, beating us 12 – 6 at the Gannock.

Driffield will be looking to push on following last week’s win over Pocklington – match report here:  A good result for Driffield : Pocklington had a very strong pack, but lacked much outside of that.  Driffield just about managed their pack, and the backs took their chances when they came.  A 5-point win was the perfect reward.

A couple of changes in this week’s squad : Walgate starts in the 2nd row, replacing James Dinsdale who picked up a knock last week.  Brankley returns at No 8, and Jack Sowersby has picked up a knock so has a rest day. Murray steps in on the wing for Robinson, who also picked up a knock last weekend. Dench starts in the centre. Gary Stephenson makes his long-awaited return from injury, starting at 15.

Malton are having a steady season, currently sitting 8th in the league on 44 points – they have won 8 and lost 9 games this season.  As with most teams in the league, their home form is pretty good, losing only twice: to Kendal 19 – 24 back in November and to York 17 – 40 a couple of weeks ago. They have had a bad last 3 weeks, losing at West Hartlepool 26 – 24, then the loss to York and last week they lost at Durham City 31 – 12.  I’m sure they will be looking to halt the slide down the league today.

Looking at the league, Malton need a win to keep their mind off the R word.  YMCA and most likely West Hartlepool are both looking at life in the league below.  However, the 12th position could be any of the clubs from 6th down. Durham City currently sit in 12th spot with 38 points, and Scarborough are 6th with 46 Points.  At the top York look like they are favourites for automatic promotion, 10 points clear of Cleck in second.  Driffield sit 3rd, 1 point behind Cleck.  Moortown are having a good 1st season in the division sitting in 4th with Morley 5th.  A long way to go and, as last weekend shows, plenty of room for upsets.

Our 2nd team head to Scunthorpe, whilst we put out a mixed 3rd/4th team to face Malton 2nds at Driffield.

Malton RUFC v Driffield RUFC, Sat 08 Feb 2020, KO 2.15pm

1 Maling, 2 Brumfield, 3 Robson

4 Walgate, 5 Cullen

6 Turner, 7 Jenkinson, 8 Brankley

9 Watts, 10 Longville

12 Dench, 13 Dinsdale

11 Murray, 14 Kelly, 15 Stephenson (C)

16 Sowersby, 17 Borman, 18 Blenkinsop.

Good Luck to all.