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Driffield get back to winning ways against Percy Park

Driffield welcomed Percy Park to Kelleythorpe on Saturday looking to bounce back to winning ways after registering three defeats in a row.

This marked the start of an important run of games for the Wolds-men as they looked to improve on their tenth place in the league.

Driffield made three changes in the forwards as Rob Mewburn and Pettinger returned after injury and Forbes after unavailability. Park kicked off and a Driffield error gave them an early chance to establish themselves.

A solid scrum saw them spread play towards the clubhouse. Driffield defence was resolute, but after an offside in mid-field Park kicked a penalty to make the score 3-0. Driffield had barely touched the ball, but once they began to get their hands on it, they made good progress against the breeze.

They showed an ability to move through the phases and keep the ball. The forwards showed some nice touches offloading out of the tackle, especially second row Dodds who shows a good understanding of the game. However, the inaccuracy that had been so prominent in the display against Wheatley Hills two weeks ago was again present and either a wayward lineout or a turnover on the floor stopped several promising attacks.

Driffield lost Piercey to a yellow card, but this didn’t stop them making a clean break by Askew, who accelerated into a gap. Again the chance was lost as the pass inside went to ground. Park’s fly half used the wind intelligently to turn Driffield around and make 50 yards with a clearing kick.

Driffield RUFC 17 - 13 Percy Park

Park extended their lead when a scrum in midfield set the platform for their backs to cross in the corner for an unconverted try to lead 8-0. Driffield needed to respond quickly, and with Nellon and Harris carrying strongly, established field position. Good offloading out of the tackle by Cooper put Dodds into a half gap. Quick recycling put Piercey into a gap and he dummied the winger to cross from 40 yards for a converted try.

Momentum had swung and after missing a penalty, further pressure on Park’s line lead to a yellow card. Piercey took ad-vantage of this temporary numerical advantage, when he made an outside break and passed inside to Furbank who scored under the posts.

Half time. 14-8 to Driffield

With the wind at their backs Driffield would have hoped to secure field position and close the game out. However, their task was made harder when Harris was sin binned within minutes of the restart for a high tackle. Park made the advantage pay with a well worked move off the back of line out.

Strong carrying by the back row into midfield set a ruck from which the ex-Newcastle Falcons and Samoan right wing Fa’atau made a break. A simple in-side ball put the Park centre in for a try which, crucially, went unconverted.

Driffield lead by a point and good kicking from Lucas and Askew pinned Park in their own half, but errors released the pressure. An intercept on half way seemed to be the chance for Park to take the lead once again, but excellent tracking back from Furbank knocked the ball out over the line and saved a certain try.

Park had upped the pace in an at-tempt to find the winning score, but Driffield’s defence was excellent. Fly half Grove kept probing and bringing the big Park forwards onto the ball, but time and again they were chopped down. Driffield wrapped up the points when Furbank kicked a penalty from 40 yards, after earlier having missed from a similar spot.

Final score 17-13 to Driffield.

This was a welcome return to winning ways for the Woldsmen, with plenty still to work on. Winning these tight games has not al-ways been Driffield’s strength, and it was pleasing to see the spirit evident in the team, typified by the tackling.

At times the play is excellent, showing great control and good skill levels. If the errors can be cut out and that level attained for a full game then Driffield will be a very difficult team to beat. They return to action in a local derby against Beverley this weekend

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