Driffield 12 West 13

By Dave Picken - January 26 2014
Driffield 12 West 13 Until a dramatic last second winning penalty from Stu Waites it looked like the most memorable events of this game would have taken place off the pitch  ....

A squall which flattened the corner flags was followed by a hailstorm and thunder and lightning leading to a 15 minute interruption to the first half.

When the game did restart both sides slogged it out on a wet and muddy pitch while Driffield's stand-in touch judge provided some additional entertainment thanks to his shouted encouragement to the home players and the waving of his flag whenever he perceived a West infringement. Referee Mike Ramsden, who has been officiating for 35 years, chose to ignore it all. Probably wisely.

To cap it all a pink sweatered Driffield supporter, who had watched the game from the clubhouse balcony after presumably enjoying Driff's traditional long pre-match lunch, threw the contents of his pint glass over the West players as they came off the pitch. Ann and Malcolm Wallis were also in the firing line as were some home supporters. Driffield will be discussing the incident at their next committee meeting.

For the most part events on the pitch were much less interesting although well contested.

We had the elements behind us in the first half as the sky darkened ominously, and lost Jonny Boatman to an early sin bin after he retaliated to a punch thrown at him for the breakdown.

While he was off Driff capitalised by driving West back on the line with hooker Guy Brumfield taking an inside ball to go over under the posts.

We were struggling to get any decent ball before the heavens opened with the penalty count heavily against us. After the rain cleared the wind picked up and the temperature dropped by seven degrees, and we were able to mount some pressure in the home 22 which eventually saw Jonny Boatman touch down after the forwards forced their opponents back over the line.

Waites was narrowly wide with his conversion attempt so the half ended with us trailing 7-5 and the prospect of playing into the elements in the second.

We had already lost Colin Cheslin to a back injury, with Davy Tighe coming on at stand-off and Waites moving to full back, and Adam Coates was also off after a charge down attempt saw him get the ball full in the face. Andy Dixon came on at hooker with Rollins moving over.

 To make matters worse Liam Bailey was limping, as was Scott Butcher who had tweaked a muscle in the warm-up.

The odds certainly seemed to be with a home side that were working hard and committing numbers energetically to the breakdown where most of the West injuries were being created.

Ryan Painter was the next casualty. He took a knock to the knee which meant another reshuffle as Tighe went to scrum half, Waites back to fly half, Andy Turner coming on in the back row and Jonny Boatman going to inside centre with Luke Mallinson at full back.

Davy went on to have a major influence on the rest of the game with the home side struggling with their No 8 and scrum half combination.

It didn’t prevent them from exerting a lot of pressure in the West 22, but solid defence and hard work kept them at bay until a Stu Waites 22 drop out went straight to full back Sam Furbank just inside the West half.

He at first appeared to fumble his catch, which may have put the West defence off their stride, but regardless he tore through the middle without a hand being laid on him, and by the time he reached Mallinson at full back had such a head of steam that he easily ran in for a fine individual try.

He missed the conversion, but at 12-5 the home side were looking good for the win as we had been struggling against the wind and only rarely visiting the home half.

However, the Driff try got the right reaction from the forwards and they worked their way up the right wing and at last we won a couple of penalties of our own.

Pressure was mounted on the home line and Davy Tighe spotted an overlap on the short side with his long pass almost being caught by Andy Turner. Instead, it went through to its intended target and Sam Miller gratefully dived over in the corner.

Against the wind Waites' conversion slid understandably wide and at 12-10 we were back in the game with 10 minutes left.

Driff mounted an attack from the restart, but with the forwards working hard we slowly made our way back up the pitch forcing a few errors and a few penalties out wide as the home side tired and became increasingly nervous.

And so it was that  Ref Ramsden awarded us our 11th and final penalty of the afternoon. The home side had had 14 by comparison, but this last one was the most vital as Mr Ramsden ruled that there would be no time left to continue once the kick was taken.

We had no choice but  to go for goal. It was on the 22,  out wide on the right and against a gale which was blowing straight down the pitch and into Stu's face. In those conditions he was already ice cool and his magnificent kick went unerringly between the uprights to provide a truly hard earned victory. It was hard lines on the Driffield players and coaches who suffered a similar late loss at Wheatley Hills last week.

Fortunately for us, we now have two weeks to recover before Cleckheaton visit Brinkburn and all 14 of those days will be needed for recovery- and to get warm again..

Driffield: Sam Furbank, Robin McGill, Gary Stephenson, Alisdair McLarron, John Pratt, Mike Black, Will Ollett, Henry Waterhouse, Guy Brumfield, Paul Dervey, Jake Douglas, Oli Cooper, Rob Hamilton, Josh Parker, Chris Chapman, Changes: Simon Pettinger, Ben Lawrence, Jack Binnington.

Tries: Brumfield, Furbank.

Con: Furbank.

West: Colin Cheslin [Davy Tighe 15 minutes] , Scott Butcher, Andrew Cheslin, Liam Bailey, Luke Mallinson, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter [Andy Turner 45], Ian Pinchen, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates [Andrew Dixon 25], Owen Bennett, Michael Hogan, Dan Boatman [c], Jon Boatman, Sam Miller.

Tries: J Boatman, Miller.

Pen: Waites.


Referee: Mike Ramsden [Yorkshire]

Driffield 12 West 13
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
26/01/2014 12:51
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Re: Driffield 12 West 13
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
26/01/2014 13:11
Pink sweater eh?
You know what they say about those ...

Re: Driffield 12 West 13
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
27/01/2014 03:41
Sounds like a really gutsy spirited performance, well done WEST!!!

Re: Driffield 12 West 13
27/01/2014 10:47
Well done Stu and the lads this sounds like a real hard slog. Keep it up and lets hope the injured players recover in time for Cleckheaton.

Re: Driffield 12 West 13
Leg End (IP Logged)
27/01/2014 13:21
Also like to echo what has been said previously, an excellent result for the Lads!

After speaking with a few of them on Saturday in the club (they may not remember??), I think a few special mentions are needed, Owen Bennett, Liam Bailey and Scott Butcher, playing through the pain barrier until the final whistle...... shows a great team spirit and a never say die attitude!

And of course Stuart Waites.... slotting the last kick of the game!!

Cracking stuff!!

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