Pocklington RUFC had an early summer run out when they went on a mini-weekend tour to the Olney 7s in Buckinghamshire; coming away with silverware after winning the plate competition final to lift the Presidents Plate at the end of a long, hot day. But the tour was more about social, rather than serious, rugby, and the hard work starts next week when pre-season training gets underway on Tuesday evening.
Pocklington's squad of 25 players travelled down on Friday and had a heavy night's partying in the clubhouse at Olney - the former club of Pocklington prop and Market Weighton publican, Euan Walker. Their late night seemed to take its toll as Pocklington lost two of their three group games, being beaten by London invitation side, Gotham Goats, and by old rivals from nearer to home, Sheffield Tigers; but in between they had a convincing win over local club, Winslow.
Their mixed bag of results in the group stages took them into the plate competition, and Pocklington seemed to play better the longer the afternoon went on. They disposed of a Bedford VII in the plate quarter finals, then produced their best performance of the day to overcome the 2017 winners, Newport Pagnell, in the plate semis. That took them through to the final against another local club side, Long Buckby, from just over the county border in Northamptonshire. Pocklington dug deep for a sixth and final time to win 28-10 in an entertaining encounter, with Josh Britton and David Davidson playing star roles.
That was the prelude to another big celebration in festival marquee that went on into the early hours. Pocklington RUFC coaching coordinator, Wayne Warren, who was team manager for the tour, summed it up, saying:
"The guys had a marvellous weekend and its was good to see them back in action again. We played some great rugby under a lot of adversity in serious heat, but the boys kept themselves hydrated and I think that's what helped us get through and win the plate final.
"The victory should bring some confidence into pre-season training which I know everyone is looking forward to."
The first pre-season session is on Tuesday (3 July) at 6.45 pm at the club's Kilnwick Park training ground. Sessions continue every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter. Any new or prospective players wanting more information about coming down to Pocklington can contact Tony Penn on 07946533660.