Driffield and Goole both travelled over to Castle Park, the home of Doncaster Knights, to play in the 2023-24 Yorkshire Cup Final.  The stadium was the day’s venue for four competitions : the Vase, Silver Trophy, Shield and the Cup.

Both sides had brought large groups of supporters with them, and many spectators from earlier games stayed on to watch the final match of the day, on a glorious sunny afternoon..

Goole kicked off, and took the attack straight to Driffield, winning a penalty just inside the Driffield 22 after just two minutes.  The conversion was good, and they took the early lead.  D 0 – 3 G

From the restart it was clear that Goole were going to play a running game rather than relying on heavy forwards and keeping it tight.  They made steady progress up the field winning another penalty in almost the same position as the last, with the same result.  D 0 – 6 G

Knowing they had to respond and wrest control of the game, Driffield attacked, finally winning a scrum just inside the Goole 22 on the right side.  Picking up from the tail, Tom Sowersby dummied, and went through the gap to run in 20 to score under the sticks.  Watts added the extras with 11 gone.  D 7 – 6 G

Goole responded well, working their way up the park, meeting solid defence but keeping the ball alive.  Finally, with 17 gone they reached the Driffield 22 and worked the ball to the left wing, where they made the most of a small gap and went in at the corner.  D 7 – 11 G

Driffield came straight back at them, and a promising visit to the Goole 22 was wasted with a  loose pass.  Goole’s clearance was sliced, and Driffield did not lose too much territory with the line-out on the 22.

With 27 gone, Driffield were awarded a penalty from 40 out.  Watts stepped up and confidently slotted it through the uprights to narrow the gap to one.  D 10 – 11 G

The first wave of replacements came on, with Nellen and Johnson taking to the park.

Shortly after, Goole lost a man to the bin with a slap-down interception attempt in their own 22.  Perhaps now was the time for Driffield to start to take control of the game, and Nellen duly powered over from five out but was held up over the line.

With Driffield’s forwards starting to take control of the tight, and seconds to go in the half, they lifted the whole Goole front row off the floor with a massive scrum drive.  To the surprise of many spectators, the referee judged it to be dangerous play and penalised them.

Half-time followed shortly after with Driffield trailing by one.  D 10 – 11 G

Five minutes into the second half saw skipper Brankley shown the yellow card for a high tackle.

Seeing the opportunity, Goole attacked to extend their narrow lead.  After five minutes of solid endeavour, they broke left and went in at the left corner.  But the try was disallowed and play brought back for an earlier infringement, to the relief of the Driffield spectators.

Driffield locked the game up during the yellow card, not leaking any points.  When Brankley returned to the pitch he was straight into the action, making 20 meters before popping the ball to Will Hughes, on his shoulder.  He, in turn, passed it to Webster, who made it over the line but was held up.

Further pressure and multiple phases from Driffield finally saw Tom Sowersby catch the defence napping as he side-stepped through challenges to race 20 for the sticks.  Watts converted.  D 17 – 11 G

Goole were not down yet, and returned to the attack when Driffield gave away a penalty.  They were met with robust defence, until Rix collected the ball and kicked to clear : his 50:20 attempt was just short.

From an untidy Goole line-out, Furbank collected the scraps and the ball was worked through to Rix.  He broke the line but the cover tackle halted him.  Play was brought back for a penalty offence, and Watts stepped up and converted to extend the lead to two scores.  D 20 – 11 G

Five minutes later, from solid play, the ball was moved to Henry Hughes running at full tilt.  The defence parted like the Red Sea, and he galloped a full 25 meters unopposed to score under the sticks, converted by Watts.  D 27 – 11 G

Even though they now needed three scores, Goole were not down yet, and continued to press where they could but met solid Driffield defence.  Driffield looked to further extend their lead, but Goole’s back line also remained solid.

Finally, with just two minutes left, Goole found a gap through the middle and reached the Driffield 22 before the cover tackles came in to snuff out the attack.

The final whistle went shortly after, with Driffield taking the spoils.

  1. Thundercliffe
  2. Ramsden
  3. Pettinger
  4. Hughes H
  5. Grant
  6. Hughes W
  7. Mewburn
  8. Brankley A
  9. Sowersby T
  10. Watts
  11. Scurry
  12. Sowersby J
  13. Kelly
  14. Brankley T
  15. Rix
  16. Nellen
  17. Furbank
  18. Robson
  19. Webster
  20. Johnson
  21. Murray Ry
  22. Blacker