Pocklington 44


(Yorkshire I)

BASED on this, and previous showings, YMCA look set for a long and very hard season following last year’s promotion.

This week they were up against the team who beat them to the Yorkshire II title last year, and once again they were clearly second best, beaten comprehensively by a large and well-organised Pocklington side.

YM’s forwards were giving away a stone and a half a man, while in the backs it was probably nearer two stone, making Pocklington as big a side as they are likely to meet this season.

But the home side also play well as a team and support each other, which is something woefully lacking in YM’s performance – they have a total reliance on individual enterprise to force any sort of breakthrough.

YM were immediately on the back foot from the start with Pocklington’s forwards driving in hard and they were on the board after just six minutes when missed tackles allowed inside forward Tim Nixon to sprint over for the opening try, converted by full-back Bennett.

Six minutes later they were over again, after once more driving YM’s lightweight pack back in the maul and flanker Stephenson getting the ball down, although on this occasion the conversion failed.

Individual breaks from full-back Nick Clarke and back rower Mark Whitehead were the only glimmers of light for YM, but in truth both were snuffed out.

Two Bennett penalties either side of half time extended Pocklington’s lead to 18-0 before open-side prop Kelly broke free to run in unchallenged.

And when Josh Marshall opted to tap and run a quick penalty to himself, he quickly realised he had no-one in support, was promptly turned over in the tackle and Nixon cruised over for his second try, with Bennett’s conversion making it 30-0.

With the game over, YM did get a couple of consolation scores, Simon Wilson, the returning Ed Barber and Alex Shaw putting Chris Williams over in the corner, before Shaw took a Barber pass to score a second touchdown, neither of which were converted.

Barber did show a glimmer of promise when he broke away on a 60-yard dash, but again there was no-one in support and he was eventually pulled down by force of numbers and robbed of the ball.

And that was as good as it got for YM as Pocklington were soon back in charge when they took advantage of some sloppy handling in defence which allowed centre Holborough to picked up a loose ball and force his way through for a try, which Bennett converted for a 37-10 lead.

And the North Yorkshire side also had the final say when the forwards again crashed over for a try close to the sticks which left Bennett a simple conversion to round off the scoring.

Although only five games into the new season, YM are now firmly rooted to the foot of the table, and already upcoming matches against Scarborough away next week and the home game against North Ribblesdale the following week are starting to take on massive proportions.

YMCA: Clarke, Shaw, Bentley, Williams, Morton, Wilson, Marshall, Wrafter, Stu Dyke, Ste Dyke, Housley, Lumb, Walker, Crabtree, Whitehead. Subs: Barber, Leonne-Mazza.