1st and 2nd XVs travel north to face Billingham RUFC.  There is no game for the 3rds as Marist could not raise a side, whilst 4ths welcome Withernsea to Kelleythorpe.

The 1st XV’s trip to league-leaders Billingham this weekend to play a team that sits pretty comfortably at the top of Regional 1 North East, 15 points ahead of second-place Alnwick.  They have been living to their pre-season tag of league champs, although they had a slip-up last weekend when they lost at Doncaster Phoenix 19-17.  That was only their second loss of the season, the first being at Alnwick back in September 23-20.  In between these two losses, they racked up an impressive 11 wins on the bounce.  They also have a 100% win record on home turf, and average nearly 40 points per game.  In our first meeting this season, at Kelleythorpe, Billingham put in an impressive performance, winning 19-38.  No doubt a big ask for the Woldsmen to come away with a win, although I am sure they are up for it

Driffield come into the weekend following a terrific win against a very talented York outfit.  Driffield started very strongly, but the York defence held strong.  The yellow card for McKinnon swung the game in York’s favour, scoring 17 un-answered points in the 10 minutes we were down to 14.  Driffield managed to get back into the game with a couple of tries before the break, and the supporters felt as though the first score in the second half could swing the game – that went York’s way.  With eight minutes to go, York had a big lead and Driffield supporters thought the game was done.  However, the boys found another gear and, coupled with York changes, Driffield scored three unanswered tries and a last-minute penalty kick to win the game.  A great effort from the Woldsmen.

The win saw us maintain 4th position in the league, six points ahead of Cleckheaton in 5th, and four behind Alnwick and Heath in 2nd and 3rd – Heath hold a game in hand over both Alnwick and us.  Heath travel to York this weekend, Alnwick host Sandal.

A few missing this weekend, with Soanes, Mewburn, Brankley, Falkingham, Hughes and Grant unavailable or injured.

In the backs, Blacker moves to centre to replace Soanes, Scurry starts on the wing, with Short returning to the squad starting on the opposite wing.  Watts moves to 10, with Robinson moving to 9.  Jack Sowersby starts in the back row alongside Johnson and Jenkinson.

The 2nd XV completed the double over York last weekend with another good win, beating their 2nds 18 -10.  They sit second in the Yorkshire Premiership, behind the ever-strong Wharfedale.  In their first meeting with Billingham, back in October, Driffield won 66 – 12.  I am sure tomorrow’s game will be a bit tougher at Billingham.  The seconds have a great mix of youth and experience at the moment, with the likes of Stephenson, Brigham, Brumfield, Blenkinsop, Furbank, Pratt and Dinsdale bringing the experience.  Over 600 1st team caps in those 7 alone – it really is showing the rewards.

3rd XV have no game following a cry-off from Marist, and the 4th XV welcomes Withernsea to Kelleythorpe.  The 3rd and 4th XVs both had good wins last weekend against Scarborough 2nds and 3rds, making it our second full house of the season.  Another great achievement by everyone involved.

Driffield 1st XV v Billingham RUFC 1st XV, Saturday 14th January 2023.

  1. Pettinger
  2. Ramsden
  3. McKinnon
  4. Gleeson
  5. Turner
  6. Sowersby
  7. Jenkinson
  8. Johnson
  9. Robinson
  10. Watts
  11. Short
  12. Rix
  13. Blacker
  14. Scurry
  15. Dinsdale
  16. Murray, Ryan
  17. Thundercliffe
  18. Murray, Rob

Good luck to wearing Blue, black & White.