YMCA 24 Pocklington 24
HAT-TRICK hero Alex Shaw so very nearly brought YMCA victory over Pocklington, only to be denied by a late levelling score from the visitors to Laund Hill.
The recruit from Huddersfield RU produced his best display to date, and was constantly in the thick of it, scoring three very fine tries, and unlucky not to add a fourth.
Elsewhere it was another Jekyll and Hyde performance from the YM, with several excellent spells of rugby interspersed with indiscipline and low levels of concentration.
The visitors were first on the board with flanker Wilson scooping up a loose ball to race for the line unopposed, busy centre Stringer converting for a 7-0 lead.
YM then began to get to grips with the game, with scrum half Simon Wilson and stand-off James Swift combining well to set up a number of forays, and when the ball was worked out to Shaw on the wing, he demolished one tackler before sprinting for the line for a super try.
Edward (Russell) Barber added the conversion to level the scores.
Pocklington briefly took the lead again with a Stringer penalty, but the majority of rugby was now being played by the YM and they were unlucky to be pulled back after a Barber pass put full-back Tim Horner in the clear with Gavin Stead in support, only for referee Lazenby to rule Barber’s pass forward.
The Laund Hill side were not to be denied, however, and they were rewarded on the half-hour when Chris Williams steamrollered his opposite number, fed on to Barber, who in turn released back-rower Richard Doyne to score wide out.
And they were soon on the attack again, this time through Stead, who made the initial break before linking up with Wilson and Doyne before the final pass went to Shaw who showed a clean pair of heels to the defence for an outstanding try.
Barber was unable to convert either try, but YM still went in 17-10 to the good at the interval.
Ten minutes after the re-start came the try of the match, when from a scrum inside YM’s half the ball was whipped out to Shaw who set off at pace and simply brushed aside a number of would-be tacklers as he raced along the touchline, outpacing the crossfield cover to score near the posts.
Barber added the extras, but YM then seemed to take their foot off the gas and mistakes began to creep into their game. Pocklington’s forwards began to retain possession and after a series of drives, scrum half Reece dropped over the line, Stringer converting to reduce the deficit to seven points.
The game could have been wrapped up on YM’s next attack when Shaw again sprinted for the corner for what would have been his fourth try but when the final tackle came in, he had to stretch for the line and in doing so just lost his grip on the ball.
And then with the clock ticking down, Pocklington forced their way back up field, the scrum half threw out a long pass to Stringer coming in at an angle, and it enabled him to skip through a tiny gap to score a try which he also converted himself to earn the draw.
YMCA: Horner, Stead, Barber, Williams, Shaw; Wilson, Swift; Lockwood (Whitehead 64), Dyke, Sellars, Housley, Hellawell, Doyne, Walker, Pollock (Hodge 70). Sub: Smith.