Festive fillip as York RUFC coach Sean Bass eyes promotion push

York Press: Stu Davies, pictured in action for York back in 2007, returned to the Clifton Parkers’ first-team ranks for the first time in years last weekend Stu Davies, pictured in action for York back in 2007, returned to the Clifton Parkers’ first-team ranks for the first time in years last weekend

YORK RUFC coach Sean Bass is delighted to be back in the Yorkshire One promotion hunt.

The Clifton Parkers head into the Christmas and New Year break on the back of three straight wins, 39-0 at Pontefract and then 27-22 at home to Scarborough and 31-20 to Bridlington.

That hat-trick of victories thrust York back into the promotion race in fourth place, two points behind second-placed Dinnington and third-placed Doncaster Phoenix and six adrift of leaders Ilkley.

Having started the season in stunning fashion, with four successive wins, York’s next seven league games yielded only two wins.

Bass underlined the importance of the pre-Christmas east coast double at Clifton Park.

“We needed to stay in touch and we’ve done that,” he said. “When we had Scarborough and Bridlington to play in our last two games before the break, I said our goal was to get ten points.

“We pushed hard and we have got the ten points. To beat those two back-to-back and get five points in each game was fantastic.

“It was a good win last Saturday. Any win against Bridlington is a good win. They are always competitive and I have got a lot of respect for them.”

Ilkley, the midway leaders, inflicted York’s biggest defeat of the season – 31-9 – at the start of November.

Bass said: “Ilkley are strong and they have beaten us. They are the team to beat at the moment, but they will have some tough games to come.

“Everybody seems to be able to beat everybody else this season.”

York resume their league campaign at Dinnington on the first weekend in January and Bass is expecting the hosts to be more competitive than when they went down 27-6 at Clifton Park in September.

“We’ve got a really tough start to the new year – Dinnington away on January 4,” he said. “They are second and that is a big game.

“We need everybody fit and ready for that one.”

The absence of players through injury and other commitments forced Bass to bring forward Stu Davies back into the first-team fold against Bridlington.

Said the coach: “We are still lacking consistency in selection due to injuries and unavailability.

“It seems to be the modern thing. Players are not available every week as they used to be.

“I called Stu Davies into the first team at the weekend. He hadn’t played in the first team for a few years, but he did a great job. He was fantastic for us.”

He added: “At this time of year people are carrying knocks and there are colds and things about. It’s difficult to keep the lads fit and ready to go.

“We’ve got a two-week break now. We will still be training because we don’t want to let things go.”

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