Men’s 2s end season with 6 goal thriller
By Adam Chard
Goals from Sowersby (2) and Tom Billam snatch a draw against 2nd placed Ramgharia
Driffield Men’s 2nd XI went into their final game of the season knowing their place in the newly formed Division 1 was already secured. Facing them in their final match was Leeds-based Ramgharia 1s, who had beaten the Woldsmen 1-5 earlier in the season.
The home side could name a strong squad with Jono Trowsdale retaining his position as striker and Harry Billam moving across to the right wing. Joe Watson, who has been a rock in the defence this season, played his final game for Driffield before heading away to university.
Despite Ramgharia starting the day in second place, having already secured promotion, Driffield were in no mood to give respect to their opponents. Starting the match brightly, the visitors were soon on the back foot, with Mike Sowersby finding time and space to test the goalkeeper.
Ramgharia responded with quick and accurate aerial balls out of defence but found the back line of Michael Hirst, Matthew Knapton, Graham Hickie and Joe Watson in bullish mood.
It wasn’t long before Driffield’s pace and power began to tell. A flowing move from front to back, which involved Willem Smith and Tom Billam, ended with Mike Sowersby finishing decisively to make it 1-0.
Ramgharia looked a little shell-shocked and the Woldsmen were quick to build on their advantage. With just 15 minutes gone, some good build-up play down the right saw an excellent cross turned in by Tom Billam to extend the lead.
The 2 goal lead was short-lived however, as the visitors finally began to swing into motion. Taking a physical approach, they soon won a penalty corner, which was initially blocked out by the home defence. However, a second penalty corner saw some neat interchange before being neatly slotted past Adam Chard in the Driffield goal.
It was a case of déjà vu just 5 minutes later, when the visitors found an equaliser from virtually the same penalty corner routine.
The momentum now was with Ramgharia and they were finding joy with close dribbling skills and physical play, forcing Driffield into some desperate defending.
Yet again, the Woldsmen conceded another penalty corner and, yet again, the visitors made them pay with a well-worked finish.
Despite this, Driffield heads didn’t go down. The home team roared straight back up the other end and snatched an equaliser with a fine finish from Mike Sowersby.
Half time: Driffield 2s 3 Ramgharia 1s 3
Despite neither team requiring the points, the second half began at a frenetic pace. Jack Hardeman, who was standing up well to some fairly rough tactics, combined well with Will Smith to take the ball deep into opposition territory.
The warm temperatures appeared to be going to some player’s heads, as the umpire called both captains over to warn them about persistent backchat and discipline. Ramgharia seemingly didn’t heed this advice, as 2 of their players were sin-binned in quick succession.
Despite the numerical advantage, it was actually the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock when their winger worked his way into the circle. Adam Chard, rushing out of his goal, made a fine stick tackle before clearing the danger.
With Ramgharia back up to the full eleven, they came even closer to scoring when a lob over keeper Chard cannoned off the top of the bar before dropping behind the goal.
Going into the final 10 minutes, the game became very fractious with some heavy challenges being made. After an off the ball incident, Driffield very nearly got the winner as Callum Seers and George Morgan worked an opening for Mike Sowersby, who saw his effort well saved.
With 7 minutes to go the game descended into farce as a Ramgharia player swung his stick at a Driffield player, long after the ball had gone.
After speaking to the umpire, he was shown a red card, prompting more Ramgharia players to lose their cool. 3 further red cards were shown and, seemingly in protest, the rest of the visiting team walked off the pitch. With that, the match was abandoned.
Full time: Driffield 2s 3 Ramgharia 1s 3 (match abandoned on 63 minutes)
A rather disappointing end to the season shouldn’t take anything away from Driffield’s performance, not just in this game, where they simply refused to lie down or give in, but across the whole season.
This relatively young side, with the aid of a few experienced heads, consolidated their place in this division with mid-tabled table position. They’ll be looking to make a big impression on the newly reformed Division 1 next season.
Man of the Match: Joint award to Joe Watson and Adam Chard for some dogged defending.
As always, thanks go to sponsors YorkWold PigPro and the Spread Eagle for post-match teas.