Second row forward Archie Fothergill will again skipper Pocklington RUFC first team in the coming North 1 East league campaign which gets underway with a home game against Moortown on September 7. But there is now no pre-season game this Saturday following discussions between Pock and Ilkley.
The 27-year old farmer who has been with the club for six years was originally named as last season's vice-captain, but stepped up to the plate when the original choice as captain, Ben Rees, was ruled out by injury for six months. Fothergill gets the chance the lead from the off this term; and he will have twin support from two joint vice-captains, front row forward James Thornton, who has plenty of leadership experience with his previous clubs, and threequarter Christian Pollock, who was last season's leading points scorer.
Pocklington Panthers will also have a lock forward at the helm in Sam Wright, taking over the second team duties from the long serving Shane Sellers, who has moved upstairs to become the club's rugby manager. The Panthers' two vice-captains are Martin Scott and Charles Taylor.
Pocklington Pilgrims carried all before them last season, and popular prop Wayne Grainger will lead them again in 2019-20, his vice-captains being fellow front rows Danny Mudd and Matt Pringle.
Pocklington had an excellent run out under the Burnby Lane lights last Thursday when they entertained local rivals Goole and eventually came through 31-10 after the game had been in the balance for an hour.
Pocklington took an early lead when prop Kym Russell blasted over from close range, Christian Pollock converting, before Goole soon pulled five points back with a pick and go try. Both sides fielded youthful lineups who produced a keen contest full of entertaining football, and for the next 20 minutes lower league Goole had more of the attacking, Pocklington needing strong defence on their own line, led by flanker Nathan Smith, to keep the visitors at bay and maintain their 7-5 advantage to the interval.
When Pocklington got their experienced front row of Chris Morton, James Thornton and John-Paul Kelly into tandem it gave them dominance up front and the platform to take control; No 8 Joe Brown completing a pushover touchdown, converted by Pollock. And though Pocklington dropped the ball on their next attack for Goole to run it back with slick offloading for their second score of the night, Pocklington pressed home their advantage in the final quarter. Forwards and backs combined in style in a long range raid that saw wing Sam Pattison race over on the left; then Matt Procter's delayed pass sent Pollock carving through to score and convert.
Pocklington finished on a high note, the fowards driving up the middle and scrum half David Davison bursting clear from the base to weave 35 yards to the line for a solo score.
Pocklington were scheduled to finish their pre-season with a trip to Ilkley this Saturday, but the friendly will not now go ahead. The two clubs had discussions earlier in the week after both sides found themselves without key personnel through holidays and injury and it was agreed to call the game off. Pocklington were particularly short up front due to a bevvy of props committed to running a half marathon.