TWICKENHAM HERE WE COME!
By andy maginnis
Monners return to HQ for the second year running
A huge crowd was treated to a narrow home victory in what was an extremely hard-fought contest between Droitwich and York on a heavy pitch.
The visitors set out their stall from the outset putting the home side under immediate pressure. They turned this into points through an impressive rolling maul which the Monners struggled to keep in check and the York 10 comfortably adding the extras from out wide. After the initial onslaught, Droitwich found some momentum and came close with a penalty. Shortly afterwards Brad Cook made one of his characteristic marauding runs and managed to offload to Sean Walker who crashed over in the corner - although Droitwich were unable to convert. The game continued to ebb and flow and York were awarded a penalty which was neatly slotted by their kicker. Determined not to go in behind at the break, Droitwich dug deep and after some solid work by the forwards, Phil Horton crossed the whitewash in characteristic caveman fashion. Droitwich were unable once again to add the extras so the teams went in honours even at 10 all at half time.
The second half saw York come out all guns blazing and they were soon rewarded with a try although the kick was uncharacteristically missed. Droitwich redoubled their efforts and were rewarded with a try from close-quarters by Pete Knight. This time the conversion was slotted by Brad Cook thereby giving Droitwich a narrow 17-15 lead. Droitwich seemed now to be in the ascendency and a further jinking try was added by scrum-half Josh Skinner with Cook adding the extras. It was starting to look as if Droitwich were home and dry but York saw things differently and deservedly crashed over right under the sticks, adding a further 2 points from a straightforward conversion.
With the scores poised at 24-22 there was a nail-biting finale with York missing a penalty from out wide which could have won them the game. Droitwich girded their loins and just about managed to keep the visitors out despite a valiant effort from the Yorkshiremen. Droitwich Director of Rugby, Adam Drew said:
"First of all I must thank the York players, coaches, physios, officials and supporters for contributing to a great afternoon of rugby in difficult conditions. I would also like to thank the match officials for their clear, professional and authoritative performance. Our own players put in a magnificent performance on the paddock but I must also pay tribute to the lads on the bench and those who weren't selected who turn up week in week out to play for the Twos or Threes. You can't train on your own. I would also like to thank my fellow coaches and our excellent physios for all the hard work they put in as well as the club's catering staff, volunteers, groundsman, officers and committee. Thanks also to the magnificent supporters who probably gave us the two points which edged us the game. I would also like to pay tribute to the generous sponsors who have supported us this season."
"Of course we are looking forward to playing again at Twickenham but it's back to business as usual on Tuesday at training as we have some extremely tough league fixtures in the next few weeks that we need to win if we want to stand a chance of winning the league."
R.Staite, J.Roberts, J.Shewell (c), R.Brown, S.O'Brien, P.Knight (vc), A.Middleton, P.Horton, J.Skinner, S.Walker, B.Cook, M.Handford, E.Wormington, P.Shore, L.Penn, S.Poke, L.Topping, N.Mason, L.Ellsmore, M.Barnes, B.Skinner, P.Barrow