With six injured 1st XV squad forwards watching and supporting their colleagues it was no surprise that Driffield finally were able to overcome Northern in the final five minutes to win 28 – 22. At least a bonus losing point was gained by Northern!
Northern began strongly and a penalty by full back Graham Jardine opened the scoring after just 3 minutes although Driffield equalised soon afterwards.
Just a few minutes later Sam Thorne, the Northern scrum half, spotted a gap from a free kick and scrambled over for an opportunist try which was converted by Graham Jardine.
Driffield’s pack dominated play and forced Northern into frequent transgressions resulting in a further penalty being kicked and a converted try from Driffield giving them a 13 – 10 half-time lead.
Again Northern began the second half well. Driffield gave away a penalty for offside allowing Northern to gain a line out deep in Driffield’s half from which a catch and drive resulted in a try by Pat Power which Graham Jardine converted. This took Northern to a 17 – 13 lead. After 20 minutes a penalty to Driffield closed the gap to 1 point.
However Driffield were not to be denied and with 10 minutes to go an interception, quick hands and passing before the tackle (a feature of Driffield’s play) resulted in a try under the posts with the conversion giving Driffield a 23-17 lead. Northern however did not buckle and after an excellent break by Alex Clark Pat Power forced his way over by the corner flag for his second try – unfortunately not converted.
Now losing by just one point Northern attempted to run the ball from their 22 but lost control and were punished with a final Driffield try.
With no league fixtures next weekend a number of Northern’s injured players will have an extra week to recover and hopefully bolster the side for the daunting task of travelling to league leaders, Cleckheaton, where traditionally we do well.
Northern’s league position is looking precarious but the recent performances might hopefully be described as promising.
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