2nds Lose Out in Close Run Final
By Goole RUFC
Late Surge Not Quite Enough
Goole arrived at the play off final in good shape having won the league by 12 points, finished 18 points above the opposition and having seen off a strong Scarborough team in the semi-final. Experience told the management that Driffield would pick a strong team to try and counter Goole’s free flowing game and they did not disappoint.
Goole tore into the opposition dominating the opening 10 minutes with some strong front foot ball and took a deserved lead when George Marwood touched down from short range following good work from the forwards. Driffield came roaring back and worked their rotund winger in at the corner for all square at 5 a piece.From the kick off Jack Smith, so prominent in the semi, got his head the wrong side in a tackle in a sickening collision. Early indications were not good but after a 10 minute break he was back to his feet having received medical attention from the Goole physio and paramedic. Safety protocols meant that he would play no further part in the game and the loss seemed to hit Goole hard and they never recovered fully as Driffield went on the offensive using their big forwards to punch holes in the Goole midfield and their number 10 sat back in the pocket and dictated territory.Driffield went ahead when indiscipline saw Goole infringe at the lineout and a penalty kick made it 5-8 at the interval.
Goole’s half time team talk was to keep play away from their 10 and to attack wider and move their big pack around. Goole though conceded a penalty early on and Driffield took full advantage kicking to the corner and scoring through the phases from the line out.Driffield then added two quick penalties to make it 21-5 and Goole looked dead and buried. Goole though had other ideas. With a number of substitutions made, Will Townend went straight through a ruck to go over unopposed Harry Patrick curling a well taken conversion then Sam Thurlow stretched over from short range for 21-17. Goole had one final effort in them and after 15 phases of pick and go lost control with the line beckoning as the ref blew for full time.
So to pick the bones out of a decent game with two good sides going at it. Goole had beaten Driffield twice this season, 29-7 at home and 19-36 away so knew they were in for a tough game. They never really got going in the contest though and failed to hit the heights of some of their performances this season. Their line speed was not 100% and they got caught in an arm wrestle in the middle third of the field when moving a bigger, heavier pack around might have been better tactics. The Jack Smith factor cannot be ignored and his departure from the field was a real body blow to Goole who had used his go forward game to get some good front foot ball. Credit to Driffield though who kicked well for territory and used their big forwards to full advantage and probably just about shaded the contest.
Goole can be very proud of their performance - outscoring the opposition 3 tries to 2 and going toe to toe with a very competent Driffield side picked to give them a real game.