Fri 01 Nov 2019 19:42


James Knock

Persistent rain for 60 minutes proved the old adage about the weather being a great leveller and often an advantage to the heavier pack in the local derby between two sides in the lower half of the division on week 8 out of 26 of the fixture list.
Pocklington kicked off and within 2 minutes had possession and rolled 20 metres upfield in an ominous show of forward power. Malton survived and a good break by Nathan Pratt backed up by Tom Foan fly hacking the ball to the Pocklington 22 metre zone gave them position and on 9 minutes a penalty award just drifted wide of the sticks.
Five minutes later Pocklington were at Malton's line but 6 phases were repelled and when they released the ball to the backs a thumping tackle in midfield dislodged the ball and in the ensuing breakdown Malton were adjudged to have picked the ball out of the loose ruck and Pocklington gratefully took 3 points.
ON 20 minutes Pocklington  scored a regulation 7 pointer through their powerful no8.
Three minutes later their fly half drilled a fine drop goal through the middle of the sticks to put his team 13 points clear.
Malton took note of Pocklington's power and instead of an arm wrestle took ball up the side of the rucks a metre at a time for several drives with Sam Triffit,Rob Featherstone,Matt Bowman,and Charlie Read to the fore, but when ball was released to the backs it was either kicked away aimlessly or run into the welcoming arms of the Pocklington midfield defence.
However on 37 minutes following 3 scrums on the Pocklington line the ball was finally fed to Ali Fothergill to crash over for a converted try.
Half time,6 points the difference, game on!
The game continued in a humdrum fashion with Malton improving and dealing with Pocklington's heavyweights and in the 15th minute a no arms tackle by Pocklington's no 8 Marcus Britland was adjudged not to be card worthy. From the penalty set piece Malton worked the ball to Matt Bowman to go over for a 7 pointer and a slender lead.
Ten minutes later Malton were awarded a penalty 15 metres out and 5 metres to the right of the posts. Correctly or not the decision was made to take a static tap penalty after a minutes injury break which failed to produce a score and left Pocklington needing only a penalty to retake the lead rather than the effort of having to cross the whitewash.
Defending a 4 point lead is normally considered easier than defending  a single one.
As it happened on 35 minutes Pocklington scored a 7 pointer through their no9 to give them a 6 point lead and the spoils but more importantly 5 minutes for Malton to defend a losing bonus point or score 7 themselves.
A penalty on 40 minutes well converted by the Pocklington 10 put the game to bed and left Malton and their coaches to rue the decision made 15 minutes earlier with Malton's knowledgable supporters left scratching their heads and the team leaving empty handed.

MALTON: Will Bell,  Nathan Pratt,  Tom Foan,  Vus Dyantjies,  Ali Fothergill,  James Bulmer,  Paul Angus,  Pete Hopkins,  Bailey Lamb,  Rob Featherstone,  Will Dunn,  Charlie Read,  Andy Mitchell,  Sam Triffitt(c),  Matt Bowman.

Subs:  John Lumley,  Tom Barker,  Nick Salisbury;  (all used).

Scorers:     Ali Fothergill 1 try,  Matt Bowman 1 try,  Paul Angus 2 cons,

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