BRIDLINGTON RUFC’s narrow win at Keighley on Saturday was marred by the death of a club official in the clubhouse before the game.
Barry Tranmer, who was a vice president at the club and had been bathman and kitman for more than 20 years, died after suffering a heart attack prior to kick off.
Bridlington RUFC chairman Norman Lawry, said: “Barry was the players’ talisman and a club stalwart.
“He was a passionate, vociferous and knowledgeable supporter and he will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts go out to his wife Louise and his family.”
The players and coaches were on the field of play preparing for the game when ambulance crews arrived, and Mr Lawry called the coaching staff to break the news to them that Mr Tranmer had collapsed in the Keighley clubhouse and paramedics were on the scene.
The referee and the Keighley players offered to have the game rescheduled but the decision was left with the coaching staff who decided to tell the players the news that he had been taken seriously ill before kick-off.
“The decision was left with the players, who of course were very upset, but decided to play the game as it is what Barry would have wanted. To a man the players supported the suggestion, they wanted to do it for him,” continued Mr Lawry.
“It affected the travelling support as well. Barry was an ever present on all our UK and international games and was well known throughout the leagues.”
Immediately after the game, the chairman informed the players and coaching staff that their travelling companion, loyal supporter and friend, known as ‘Barry The Bathman’, had passed away.
BRIDLINGTON endured a long journey to Keighley on Saturday. The weather was overcast, with a moderate wind. The pitch was quite boggy in places, due to recent heavy rain in the area.
Bridlington kicked off the match, which was knocked on by Keighley, the referee played advantage to the visitors, but as they neared the home side’s 40 metre line they conceded a penalty.
Keighley stand-off gracefully accepted a chance to clear his lines down to Bridlington’s 22 metre line, then following the lineout, Keighley made their way towards the visitors try line, stopped by some great defensive tackling by Bridlington, who were rewarded with a scrum.
The visitors then ran the ball out with good open play making their way as far as the halfway line, but indecision led to them crossing, which gifted the home side with another penalty, this was kicked back to Bridlington’s 22 metre line.
A good lineout, followed by a great individual run by Keighley number eight saw them over the try line for a converted try, just to the left of the posts.
Again from the restart, Keighley made good progress up the park, Bridlington were again on the back foot, then just as in the first try, Keighley set up a good platform from a lineout inside the visitors 22 metre line, saw the number eight, this time feeding the open side flanker to score an unconverted try.
Bridlington started to pressurise Keighley, however each time they neared the 22 metre line they conceded penalties, despite some great attacking play by the visitors.
Eventually the referee sent a Bridlington player to the bin, thus reversing all the good pressure that Bridlington had been applying.
Keighley then made their way up field again, but just as Bridlington had done earlier, they too conceded penalties, and they also had a player yellow carded.
A couple of good plays by Bridlington, forced Keighley to concede a penalty in range of the posts, which Regan Stirk took gratefully, putting the visitors on the score board.
This however was short lived, as the Keighley machine once again made progress, and from yet another lineout they scored an unconverted try, this time out wide by the corner flag.
Keighley again made their way up the park, but this time following a penalty, Bridlington took a quick tap, good runs by Wiremu Cookson, then Mark Oliver set up a good attacking platform, another drive by Daniel Perkins, who managed to feed James Thompson to break the line.
Tom Benninger supported well, delaying his pass to AJ Burrows, and he drew in the last of the defenders for Burrows to cross the line for a converted try.
The referee ended the half with the score at 17–10 to Keighley.
The second half started well for Bridlington, with the restart kick collected by Thompson, supported by the rest of the pack, a platform was set for Jamie Muru, to put up a high ball, which was chased and caught by Sizwe Zondo, with his forwards again securing the ball.
Then following a bit of kick tennis by both teams, Muru was able to bounce a ball into touch 30 metres from the home side’s try line.
A poor throw in by Keighley saw Oliver collect the ball at the back of the line, the forwards secured this and released the backs to attack.
Ten meters from the try line Keighley conceded a penalty, Stirk stepped up again, collecting another three points.
Then just as Bridlington were on the attack again, Keighley were awarded a scrum, following the scrum the referee showed another yellow card to Bridlington.
Keighley again piled on the pressure, but this time the visitors held firm, camped out for a while 10 metres from their own try line.
Great defence by the visitors, time and again, meant Keighley opted for a scrum following a penalty, but their efforts were thwarted as they gave away a free kick from the scrum, then when they failed to retreat, the referee marched a further 10 metres up field, awarding a penalty to the visitors, now back to full strength.
Bridlington enjoyed some good possession, making their way up the park, until they were awarded another kickable penalty, alas this time, unsuccessfully.
But not put off by this Bridlington attacked well from the resultant drop out, great play by the backs getting to within 10 metres of the try line.
The backs attacked again Gareth Roberts was stopped just five metres short, but the forwards secured the ball.
Two short passes and Muru dived over the line, only to be held up, by the defiant Keighley forwards, for a scrum. Keighley managed to clear their line following a penalty, but following the lineout the referee showed a second yellow card to a Bridlington player, reducing the team to 14 men for the remainder of the game.
Bridlington then had to endure yet more pressure as the home side progressed up the park. But fortunately for Bridlington they knocked on as they reached the visitors 22 metre line.
Great work by the forwards won the scrum, releasing the backs to attack following a good wide pass to Roberts by Muru, who in turn fed Ryan Girking at pace to break through the defensive line, supported by Stirk and Roberts, winning a penalty inside Keighley’s 22.
A tap and go by Muru with his forwards in close attendance, before he was stopped five metres from the try line.
Bridlington attacked again and again, eventually the pressure paidoff as another Keighley player is shown a yellow card.
From the penalty the ball was passed to Thompson to drive at the defence, passed quickly on to Regan Stirk to score an unconverted try by the corner flag, and so putting them in the lead for the first time in the game.
Keighley were not beaten yet, and they had the belief that they could come back to win the game.
Making their way up the park again, they put in some good phases of play, winning a penalty 40 metres from the visitors try line, and with time against them, they kicked at goal, but unfortunately for them, the ball was off target.
This allowed Muru to touch the ball down in goal, so ending the game.
Sponsors: North Bay Caravan Park and Hudson Contract Services
This week Bridlington are away at Heath
The next home match is against Driffield on March 10.