Huddersfield YMCA warmed up for their play-off push in North I East with a 24-8 at Pocklington.
With both teams missing key players and with nothing at stake – YM having qualified for the playoffs and Pocklington safe in mid-table – the contest could have been a non-event.
However, both teams contributed to a combative encounter with the visitors only managing to subdue the home team in the last 10 minutes of the game.
Both teams showed their intentions in a fast opening to the game with the balance of play swinging from one end of the pitch to the other.
Both YM wings, Lloyd Bentley and Gavin Stead, were seeing plenty of the ball but the home team defence was firm.
Such was the defensive effort of the home team that it wasn’t until the 37th minute that the YM got their first chance to put points on the board when Pocklington went off side at a ruck, but the usually reliable Stead pushed his effort on goal wide.
YM soon regained possession and the ball was swept wide to centre Adam Ryder who kicked ahead and was first to the ball for a try out wide, but Stead was unable to convert .
From the restart the YM failed to find touch which allowed Pocklington to hoist a high kick and as the defenders hesitated the Pocklington left wing, Tim Nixon, gathered the ball and raced over for an unconverted try which left the game tied at 5–5 at half-time.
YMCA started the second half strongly as scrum half Josh Willans sent Ed Barber away and he sent Stead flying down the wing and, after passes between Stead and Barber were exchanged resulted in Stead touching down wide out. Unfortunately for the visitors the eagle-eyed referee had spotted an obstruction and the try was disallowed.
YM were not to be denied as shortly afterwards good handling by the backs put flying wing Bentley away to race over under the posts and Stead converted to give the the visitors a 12-5 lead.
Pocklington quickly reduced the lead when Billy Hardy converted a penalty and a succession of penalties followed allowing Pocklington to0 press and eventually YM hooker Murphy despatched to the sin-bin as the home team laid siege to the YM line.
Inexplicably Hardy missed a penalty shot at goal from in front of the posts and, no sooner had Murphy returned to the field, YM No8 Mark Whitehead was given a yellow card for persistent offside.
With a man advantage the home team began to throw everything at the YM but the visitors defence stood firm.
With the game entering the final 10 minutes and Pocklington desperate for a score a wayward pass was intercepted by Barber deep in on his own half. The centre raced a full 80 metres to score at the posts and with Stead converting it gave the YM an 11-point cushion.
The result was sealed in the dying minutes when again Barber intercepted and raced from halfway to score out wide. Stead missed the conversion but YM were home and dry 24-8.
YMCA: Johnson; Stead, Barber, Ryder, Bentley; Wood, Willans; Dyke, Murphy, Wrafter, Housley, Robertson, Hodge, Lumb, Whitehead. Subs, Hill, Nightingale, Bullock.