YORK RUFC were edged out 22-18 at Driffield in a scrappy opening to the North One East campaign.

York kicked off and immediately looked under pressure when their reconstructed scrum went backwards in the first scrummage.

This strike against the head buoyed the home supporters but Driffield lost the advantage when the strong tackling York backs brought about a knock on.

The game took on a clear pattern with strong driving runs for York, led by Oscar Bell, Shane Goulding and Cade Robinson and the York backs marshalled by Liam Hessay began to create half chances which were consistently squandered.

Driffield defended well but eventually were penalised which was converted by Hessay.

York stepped up the pressure, with Robinson taking the restart well and driving back at Driffield, but he was isolated and gave the home side a breathing space.

York attacked well and Sam Forbes with a superb outside break put his winger Gregor MacKenzie away, only for the cover tacklers to snuff out the danger about five metres short. Hessay also made a jinking break with almost identical results.

After about 25 minutes, Driffield lost their scrum half to the sin bin, for what was seen as a spear tackle. From the resultant penalty Hessay added the three points.

Driffield were again penalised for a deliberate knock on but there was no further sanction applied. York were now dominant with Goulding and Bell driving forward constantly but several good overlaps were missed.

A relieving penalty after 30 minutes effectively took play inside the York half for the first time and following a good nudge forward, York were penalised in front of the posts and it was converted by James Watts.

York almost claimed the restart kick, but Driffield cleared well and followed up with some strong running, aided by poor York tackling, which saw No 8 Adam Brankley cross near the posts, for a good try duly converted by Watts.

Almost from the restart, York hit back with a fine individual try from 35 yards out by Hessay which he himself converted.

York finished the half strongly with their scrum now settled and on top, but the numerous knock-ons had prevented them gaining a match winning lead at the turn.

York started the second half well, but a line out offence saw Driffield relieve the pressure. During some scrappy play that followed Hessay was injured and forced from the field.

York continued to attack and winger Sam Elliot, having outpaced his opposite number, was impeded after having chipped forward. From the resultant penalty York drove for the Driffield line and Elliot crossed in the corner.

Finally Driffield began to exert sustained pressure and after some 10 minutes constantly in the York half, they executed a flowing set piece move and winger Harry Jackson went over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Play now became somewhat frantic, but Driffield were showing the greater combativeness. York were infringing regularly and after a succession of driving mauls, Driffield flanker Rob Mewburn got across the line for the final score of the game, a converted try.

Meanwhile, Malton & Norton scored on the last play of the game to beat Huddersfield YMCA 40-38 at The Gannock in the same division.

Malton led 28-14 at the break after tries from Ali Fothergill, Matt Bowman, Tom Foan and Rob Featherstone, all converted by Shane Poole.

Will Bell’s try early in the second period made it 33-14, but the visitors hit back with 24 unanswered points to lead with the clock ticking down.

Deep into injury time the referee awarded Malton a penalty and advised them it was the final play of the game.

Poole kicked for touch and 20 metres out an unplanned overthrow bounced and was snaffled by Malt. Two phases later Featherstone tunnelled over for man of the match Poole to convert and give Malton the spoils.

Pocklington went down 26-17 at home to Moortown in North One East.

Selby were 21-10 winners at home to Hullensians in Yorkshire One.