YMCA will be full of confidence when they entertain one of their most bitter Yorkshire rivals tomorrow as Pocklington visit Laund Hill (2.15).
The East Yorkshire club knocked YM off the top of Yorkshire II last season, ultimately going up as champions, while head coach Damon Scholes’ men had to settle for promotion as runners-up and who have also been on the ‘rough end’ of some questionable decisions over the last few seasons, all of which served to stoke up the rivalry.
And although the two clubs occupy opposite ends of the table, with Pocklington third from top and YM third from bottom, tomorrow’s clash is guaranteed to be ‘spicy’, especially after YM’s excellent win at Pontefract last week.
“It was a really important win last week, particularly as Castleford won the bottom two clash last week,” said coach Jody Shaw.
“I was really pleased with the way the lads dug deep, and although we only won by a point, any victory at Pontefract is a good one.”
Unfortunately, prop Stuart Dyke misses out on tomorrow’s game after exacerbating a back injury at Pontefract, so Niall Murphy moves to prop, alongside Stuart’s brother Steve, while Ben Hill comes in at hooker.
And that gives the hard-working Sam Hodge the chance to start at wing forward with Fabrizio Leone-Mazza and skipper Mark Whitehead resuming at No8.
The good news for YM, however, is that Josh Wrafter who was emerging as one of the club’s top props before getting a shoulder injury against Driffield, is back to fitness and starts the game on the bench
YMCA: (from): Clarke; Beever, Bentley, Shaw, Marshall, Smith, Wilson, Murphy, Ste Dyke, Hill, Housley, Merrick, Hodge, Leone-Mazza, Whitehead, Swift, Wrafter, Dyson, Neilly.