What a weekend we have ahead of us : 1st, 2nd and 4th XVs all looking to join the 3rd XV in the finals for their season trophy, two of them playing at Kelleythorpe.
Saturday is sure to be one of our biggest in our history. The Executive Committee is working to ensure everything is on place to accommodate the large number of visitors we expect to join us on Saturday. The bars will open at 1pm, pay on the gate for entrance, and food stalls available all day. The main car park will be reserved for players, staff and visiting committee members attending lunch, and Blue Badge holders : all other guests will be directed to park on the Dee, Atkinson and Harrison sale ground.
Firstly, the 1st XV welcome Syston RUFC to Kelleythorpe in the semi-final of the Papa John’s Community Cup, with a trip to Twickenham for the final on the line – see the full match programme here. Syston currently play in Regional 1 Midlands, which is the same level as our Regional 1 North league. They finished the season in third place, winning 16 and losing 6. Syston gained promotion from Midlands 1 East in the 2019-20 season into Midlands 1, which was then split up into the regional leagues we have seen this season. The only comparisons I can find to give us an idea of their standard is in the 20/21 season, when they played Sheffield, Paviors, Scunthorpe and Doncaster Phoenix in the league. They lost to Sheffield on both occasions, 6-7 at home and 24 – 20 at Sheffield. They lost at Scunthorpe 26- 24 and won the home fixture 41-17. The did the double on Paviors, 55-14 at home and 12-17 away, and also over Doncaster Phoenix 39-27 at home, 10-29 away. Obviously not a team to take lightly.
Their route to this point of the Cup has been very straightforward : they have only played the one fixture away at Wimbledon, winning 29-46. Their other two games, away at Bridgnorth and home to Colchester, were both walkovers. This gave them 15 points and a trip to the Wolds.
Our outstanding win against Alnwick two weeks ago, added to the great result at Rossendale, meant we already knew we had qualified for the semi-final straight after the Alnwick game. Reports from the coaching staff indicate that they will have to select from a full squad, with no one declaring un-fit to play, which is great news.
The other semi-final sees Heath travel to Havant, a five-hour trip. So, we could see a Regional 1 North Final.
Not to be outdone, the 2nd XV welcome Billingham 2nds to Kelleythorpe in the semi-final of the Yorkshire Merit League Play-offs – kick-off is 3pm at Kelleythorpe. Driffield finished 2nd in the league, behind winners Wharfedale. Like the 1st XV squad, the 2nds have a full squad to choose from, and are looking to put our their strongest side of the season. I believe Wharfedale host Tynedale Raiders in the other semi-final.
The 4th XV are the last team to target a final (technically the first, as they kick-off at 1.30pm) and travel to play Scunthorpe 3rd XV. Scunthorpe finished second in the league to earn a home draw, with Driffield third. The other semi-final sees Pocklington 3rd XV host Scarborough 3rd XV. Again, the 4th XV are taking a very strong side to Scunthorpe, eyeing that final’s day.
The 3rd XV have already booked their final spot, after beating Hullensians last weekend. They face Goole 2nd XV in next Saturday, location TBC.
Squads and more info to follow later in the week via the website, Twitter @driffrugby, Facebook @driffieldrufc and Instagram @driffieldrufc.