Pocklington RUFC

Pocklington RUFC

Pocklington 15 Bridlington 13

by Phil Gilbank

Pocklington took another big step towards the Yorkshire One title when

they ground out a hard earned home win over third placed Bridlington.

In some games this season, Pocklington have blown the opposition away

with high tempo running rugby. In others it has needed an arm wrestle

to come out on top of determined opposition; and Saturday was all about

endeavour and pressure as for Bridlington, the division's previous

long-term leaders, it was a must win encounter.

Pocklington dominated territory and the set pieces, spending 70 of the

80 minutes on the attack. But the tension of the occasion and

Bridlington's strong tackling meant the home side were seldom able to

break the defensive shackles. Nevertheless, they always looked in

control and ended deserved winners to now lead the table by eight points with two games to go.

Flanker Jack Holbrough, who had flown back early from France to play,

snaffled an early turnover and fly half Joe Holbrough drilled a couple

of long touchfinders twoards the corner to get Pocklington onto the

offensive. They set up camp in Bridlington territory and fullback Nick

Bennett banged over a tenth monute penalty to give them an early lead.

With Pocklington having a clear set piece advantage they looked to get

the ball moving but determined Brid tackles and Pock penalties at the

breakdown enabled the visitors to clear their line.

Bridlington then broke upfield where the home forwards were again

penalised at the tackle and Bridlington kicked a 40 yard penalty to

level the scores. Pocklington's forwards quickly restated their

dominance by driving the Bridlington eight back at the next two scrums

but another rare foothold in the home half saw Bridlington kick another

towering long range penalty to surprisingly lead by three points.

Pocklington gave signs of finding an attacking rhythm and after strong

runs from Bennett, Tim Nixon and Dan Pickard, Bennett saw a penalty

attempt slide just wide. Skipper Mat Webber led a bout of offloards and

centre Jake Bishop made a twisting 30 yard break when a deflected kick

fell into his path, but Pocklington were unlucky when the pack took

over to drive to the line in the left corner. Lock Chris Hyde was

certain he had got the touchdown but the referee was unsighted and gave

a scrum which Bridlington somehow stole to clear.

The home forwards quickly took their side back and the interval whistle

came with Pocklington again camped on the attack.

If it had never quite come together for Pocklington in the first half,

everything promptly clicked within a minute of the restart. They won a

scrum 25 yards out and with the Bridlington defence targetting the home

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midfield, fly half Joe Holbrough made another of his languid, arcing

runs to carve through to side of the posts, Bennett converting for 12-3

Bishop was almost clear when he caught a kick ahead, then Nixon and

Jack Holbrough battered strongly up the middle, but more good

Bridlington tackling and further needless Pock penalties stopped the

momentum. They were soon back and after Ben Rees and Pickard had probed

blind, Jack Holbrough was driven over under a pile of pack bodies.

After a long wait to see who came up with the ball, the try was finally

given.

At 15-3 with only 15 minutes to go the game looked just about safe. But

Pocklington failed to take the teasing kick off, and a series of

ricochets ended with Bridlington going clear under the posts for a

shock converted try.

That closed to gap to just two points and put the result back in the

melting pot. Pocklington resumed the offensive and laid seige to the

Bridlington line in the closing stages. From a series of five yard

scrums Pock were stopped just short on half a dozen occasions by

determined Bridlington defence, with centre Nixon going the closest.

But Pocklington kept battering blind and scrummaging strongly to ensure

Bridlington were pinned on their line to the end to make sure of a

crucial victory.

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Other Yorkshire Division One Results

Scarborough 25 17 Ilkley
York 92 10 Castleford
Pontefract 43 7 Driffield
Pocklington 15 13 Bridlington
Huddersfield Y.M.C.A. 10 10 Heath
North Ribblesdale 6 35 Keighley
Dinnington 30 28 Knottingley

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