In the current league, a game against Scunthorpe or York counts as a ‘local’ derby, and is always difficult to predict a result for.
Last season, Driffield did the double over the Lincolnshire outfit, winning 55 – 31 at Heslam Park and 34 – 27 at Kelleythorpe. But the Woldsmen are not firing on all four cylinders yet, so would have to be at their best to make a win happen.
A late change meant that Falkingham was replaced by Henry Hughes, who joined Will Hughes in the second row.
The game got off to a brisk start, and Driffield advanced into Scunthorpe territory, forcing the penalty which Grant happily slotted. D 3 – 0 S
From the restart, Driffield returned once again into Scunthorpe’s half, but their defence was strong and they withstood the pressure well for five minutes until they gave away another penalty, again converted by Grant. D 6 – 0 S
Scunthorpe were not down yet, and started to string together their play and retain possession. Finally, with fifteen minutes gone, a high ball through from behind the half-way bounced well for the Scunthorpe 15, who went through to score well to the right of the sticks. The conversion fell short. D 6 – 5 S
This buoyed the Scunthorpe attack, and they camped in the Driffield 22 for lengthy periods. But the Driffield defence held out as they repelled attack after attack, occasionally getting back into the Scunthorpe half but never looking like scoring.
Finally, with minutes to go in the half, Scunthorpe were once again camped in the Driffield 22. A rolling maul was set up to the left of the pitch, and the try was scored with a conversion to put the cream on the cake. D 6 – 12 S
Determined to snatch the lead back before the half-time whistle, Driffield threw themselves at the men in green, reaching the five metre where a penalty was awarded. Sowersby took the quick tap, catching Scunthorpe off-guard, and went in for the try just to the right of the sticks, making Grant’s conversion straightforward. D 13 – 12 S Half Time
Soon after the restart, Driffield were awarded a penalty but the kick was pushed right.
But five minutes later, Short scored wide right after the ball was worked along the line from the left, finding him with ten to go. The conversion was again pushed right. D 18 – 12 S
Shortly after, Driffield were awarded another penalty, but again it was pushed right.
With fifteen gone in the half, Rix took the ball in his own 22, and took off up the park. He found Grant at the Scunthorpe 10, who shipped to Blacker in support on the 22 and a breakaway try looked certain. But he lost his footing and the chance was gone.
Play bogged down in the middle of the park, with little to entertain the crowd until, with 20 gone and following loose play, the Scunthorpe 15 hacked a loose ball through from his own half three times, before collecting the bounce to go in for the try. The conversion bounced off the sticks, and missed. D 18 – 17 S
Another ten minutes passed, with neither side able to make significant progress, until Scunthorpe were awarded a penalty in from of the sticks, gratefully converted to snatch the lead D 18 – 20 S
Scunthorpe’s undoing came five minutes later when their 13 was red-carded for a high tackle five yards out. Driffield took the scrum option, spun the ball out to the far left where Short eagerly ran it in at the corner, too far out for the conversion. D 23 – 20 S
Once again, play bogged down. Finally, with eight minutes left, Driffield made a break down the left and hacked through. Short won the chase for the ball by the narrowest of margins, and touched down to clinch the bonus point for four tries. Grant kicked an excellent conversion. D 30 – 20 S
Shortly after, Mewburn was shown yellow so the final few minutes were played in the middle of the park with 14 a-side, with neither able to get through the other’s defence leaving the final score D 30 – 20 S.
For Scunthorpe, they will be disappointed that they could not get any points from the game.
Driffield will be pleased to have got five points, but will know that their play will have to show more sparkle if they want to get toward the top of the table.