Scunthorpe Colts 15 Driffield Colts 12
Scrappy win for Francis Flower Colts in another a hard fought victory.
On Sunday February 26th, Scunthorpe Colts played host to NorthYorkshire side Driffield at Heslam Park. In windy conditions, each side scored two tries and one conversion, but crucially, a Matty Boden penalty made the difference between the two evenly matched sides in the end.
Driffield had the advantage of a strong wind at the backs for the first half and certainly had the better of the early exchanges. From the initial kick-off when Scunthorpe knocked on, the Blues from Driffield would batter the Greens defence for the opening 5 minutes or so. With stout defence, the home line would not be broken and the awesome boot of fullback Matty Boden got Scunthorpe out of trouble with superb clearances from inside his own 22 up to half way. In fact, as a result of one of these kicks, Driffield threw in at the lineout on half way, tapped it back, only for captain Lewis Meyer to pounce on the ball. A sidestep and then sprint would have him deep in Driffield territory, then a clever pass to the supporting hooker Jack McGrath would advance it further. So after constant opening pressure, the Greens were now able to exert their own. Poor handling, however, would let them down.
With the aid of the wind, Driffield would come back. A scrum win and neat passing along the line from them was crucially intercepted by winger Devon James just outside his own 22, and he raced away 65 yards to touch down under the posts. Converted by Matty Boden and against the run of play the Greens led 7-0.
The game ebbed and flowed but with mistakes a-plenty from both sides, this was not a free-flowing game. Charlie Hunt won some great lineout ball from the accurate throws of Sam Longstaff in difficult windy conditions and the resulting drives would always bring Scunthorpe reward, but sadly, the final execution was missing. On 28 minutes, Driffield suffered a blow when a nasty injury to one of their centres forced him to be replaced.
The stop start nature of the game continued as both defences were better than their attacks. A scrum win against the head by McGrath, was somewhat wasted as Fly Half Jess Matthews' kick was charged down. However, McGrath came to rescue and gathered the ball in and placed a nice chip kick high to the Driffield winger. The combination of Meyer and McGrath, gave him no room and he was taken into touch. The Greens, yet again, could not press home their advantage with the lineout not being straight.
The half would finish badly for the Greens. In their own 22, with time nearly up, a clearance kick was needed, but instead they went for a chip and chase. Unfortunately, the wind took it and it just went up and Driffield would gather it in. Three drives later, the Blues would open their scoring against a very tired looking Scunthorpe defence. Unconverted with the last action of the half, Scunthorpe led 7-5.
Half time changes saw fresh legs brought on but they were needed earlier in the first half. An early Connor Graves run would gain ground but with no support the advantage was lost. Dropped ball, knock ons, kicks straight into touch, etc. would kill any momentum that prop Aiden Legge was constantly creating with his power bursts. Luckily, Driffield would suffer the same downfalls and the game was somewhat of a stalemate. Also, Scunthorpe had forwards Stephen Middleton and Jon Rigby to thwart any Driffield reply. This tough tackling duo often came to the Greens' rescue.
Halfway through the second half, the Greens best move of the game occurred. 30 yards from the Driffield line, Scunthorpe turned over Driffield possession. The ball was passed to the right, where McGrath would advance, putting flanker Josh Sarsfield through a gap. He, in turn, would draw the winger and release Graves with a canter down the line. Evading two separate Driffield defenders by inches, he powered his way to the line and although the conversion was missed, the lead was extended to 12-5.
For the first time, Scunthorpe looked dominant. A 40 yard Legge burst from the restart kick off put Scunthorpe into the Driffield half. Taken on by Boden, the Greens came so close to getting back to back tries. A succession of penalties from the visitors was the only way to stop the Greens. A high tackle on McGrath resulted in their number eight being sin-binned. Trying to take advantage of the extra man, a Boden penalty was just wide, but crucially, one three minutes later, 30 yards out but straight in front, was sweetly struck and the lead was now 15-5. The running of Charlie Van Gils was starting to break down this stubborn Driffield defence and he was unlucky on a couple of occasions with crash balls from five yards out because of poor distribution to him. A Morgan Turner pass to Archie Swain was deemed forward, with no defender in front. Unlucky.
In the dying minutes, the slender lead would be cut, as Driffield would come back. Helped by Scunthorpe infringements, Driffield would touch down under the posts to convert and make it a nail biting finish again. 15- 12 with four minutes left. Earlier in the season, Scunthorpe would have cracked but they held out, with the visitors unable to get out of their own half. As Aiden Legge advanced forward, he was taken into touch on the Driffield 22 yard line, bringing this keenly fought fixture to a close, with the Greens narrow winners.
Scunthorpe's man of the match was Scrum Half Archie Swain with notable mentions from the coach for Jon Rigby, Stephen Middleton and Israel Spry-Brittain.
1. Sam Longstaff
2. Jack McGrath
3. Jonathan Rigby
4. Stephen Middleton
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Lewis Meyer
7. Charlie Hunt
8. Kristan Martin
9. Archie Swain
10. Jess Matthews
11. Piers Sciolti
12. Morgan Turner
13. Ben Botham
14. Devon James
15. Matty Boden
16. Aiden Legge
17. Charlie Van Gils
18. Joshua Sarsfild
20. Connor Graves
21. Shea Matthews
22. Morgan Bevan
Report by Carl Meyer