WEst Hartlepool turn to David Tighe for league match with Driffield

TAKING A REST: Stuart Waites
TAKING A REST: Stuart Waites

WEST Hartlepool turn the clock back tomorrow by bringing in David Tighe for their North One East clash with Driffield.

The veteran former player-coach has been named at stand-off for the visit of Driffield to Brinkburn (kick-off 3pm).

It will be a short-term engagement for Tighe, who fills in for Stuart Waites.

The leading scorer is rested ahead of next week’s top of the table clash at Cleckheaton.

Gavin Robinson and Paul Moss, who, ordinarily, would be the candidates to deputise for Waites are both unavailable due to work commitments.

Director of rugby Kevan Oliphant said coaches Iain Dixon and Peter Robinson had no hesitation turning to Tighe, one of the club’s stalwarts who played a key role in the club’s survival after the collapse of the club following relegation from the Premiership in 1999.

“Davy’s probably the only number 10 in the club,” said Oliphant.

“He’s still a very good player and has all the experience in the world.

“Davy’s happily been playing second team and enjoying his rugby there.

“He’s missed a couple of games this season but has trained and did all the pre-season stuff so fitness is not an issue.

“He will not be making any searing breaks but what he’ll do is that he’ll control, organise and bring people into the game.

“Stu has been playing well but he’s struggling a little with hip and groin injuries and really needs a rest.”

Tighe has filled in before, including the National Three North opener at Sandal two years ago and boasts a wealth of experience at half-back.

His inclusion is one of two changes. At the other end of the age scale, Luke Mallinson comes in at full-back for the unavailable Colin Cheslin.

Tomorrow’s match against Driffield is a vital one for West who are looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season.

West went down 26-3 at Rochdale – a result which saw them slip to third in the table behind the two ‘Tons’, Cleckheaton and Pocklington.

“We just did not perform like we had in the first four matches,” admitted Oliphant.

“If we had, then I’m sure we’d have beaten them.

“Rochdale were a reasonable side but not special.

“Our forwards could not get going and whatever we tried to do did not work.

“But the good thing is the lads are determined to put it right tomorrow.

“We had a good training session last night and everyone is positive about the game.

“This group is a pretty determination bunch who know they let themselves down last Saturday and I’m looking forward to see how they react.”

On paper, Driffield looks a straight forward home win though West cannot be complacent.

The Dalesmen have won only once – against bottom club Sheffield – but aside from a 33-10 defeat at Rochdale on the first weekend of the programme they have been competitive in every game.

Driffield also have the reputation as a club who like to play attractive, attacking rugby so West must be on their guard tomorrow.

West tomorrow include teenage prospect Andrew Turner on the bench after some good displays for the Stags.

He is the grandson of the popular and respected late West president, Reg Turner.

West: L Mallinson, P Youll, A Cheslin, L Bailey, G Edwards, D Tighe, R Painter, I Pinchen, A Rollins, A Coates, M Hogan, O Bennett, D Boatman (capt), J Boatman, S Miller. Subs: T Armstrong, A Dixon, A Turner