|17 Jan 2024
Another bumper festive crowd was royally entertained, most agreeing they had seen the best quality Boxing Day match for several years. It was competitive from the outset, with more than half the Pocklington XV being first choice regulars and the rest senior squad men, while the OPs fielded a well-balanced line-up with players from universities, local clubs Driffield, Beverley and Goole, plus a couple who perform in the National Leagues.
The advantage swung one way, then the other, with Pocklington ultimately prevailing to finish 24-12 winners, by making the most of their chances while the OPs missed a couple of golden opportunities.
Sami Eggleston (99-07) for OPs always scores on Boxing Day, this time inside five minutes, darting over for Tom Sowersby (05-12) to convert. Pocklington took over the initiative but met strong defence until quick hands from forwards and backs saw skipper Joe Holbrough (98-04) stroll in.
On the half hour, OP prop Sam Garvey (08-15) made a mercurial gallop up the middle leaving Eggleston nailed to score again until the Town’s Ed Wraith (08-18) hit him over the try-line to dislodge the ball. And Pock took full advantage, rushing play to the other end for No 8 Wraith to wrestle over in the corner. The pendulum immediately swung back, fullback Danny Prescott (09-22) flying in for the school side to take a 12-10 interval lead.
The end-to-end fare continued in the second period before Pocklington opportunism saw them strike twice in similar fashion; centre Josh Britton then hooker Will Husband both sneaking clear from rucks to charge unopposed to the line, Louis Sangwin (13-20) adding both conversions for 24-12.
It was still far from over, the OPs exerting sustained late pressure but being held up over the line by dogged home defence. And the OPs got over again from the last play only for Garvey to be adjudged to lose the ball in touching down.
That left Pocklington's winning margin intact to see them collect the Bottomley Trophy for another year.
Report courtesy of Phil Gilbank (67-74)
Photos courtesy of:
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