What a difference two weeks makes.
The last two games saw the Marauders lose heavily to this week’s opponents and York 2nds but during those games there were definite signs that things would come together and so it proved in this game.
The first half was an even, cagey affair with neither side on top and both defences solid, which was an improvement for Brid having leaked too many points in the last two fixtures.
Gradually though as the half wore on the Marauders started to get the upper hand and the hard work of the forwards was rewarded with an unconverted try from evergreen prop Robin Shepherdson.
He finished a seven-phase set of rucks close to the visitors’ line, using his experience to force his way over.
This seemed to galvanise the visitors and it was they who were on top in the last 10 minutes of the half.
Almost immediately after the Brid try, they forced a penalty in front of the posts and converted it, and but for some dropped balls and excellent defence by the Marauders they might have gone into the half time break with a lead.
As it was the Marauders led at half time 5-3.
Coach Steve Manton and Captain Mark Floyd were pleased with the Marauders’ performance in the first period and asked for more of the same.
They also cautioned against the visitors stepping up their efforts at the beginning of the second period. So it proved as the Hawks, fresh from the half-time team talk came at the Marauders.
Unlike previous weeks, the Brid defence stood firm and defiantly repelled the visitor’s attacks. Then, confidence grew, stemming from an excellent try from back row Josh Symonds.
Starting with the ball on halfway, the forwards set the platform for stand-off Tom Wilson to chip over the defence. The ball was gathered and fed back inside to Symonds who raced over in the corner.
This created a lot of belief in the home side often missing last season. It also prompted increased effort and determination to contain any attacks the Hawks threw at them, notably in the Brid pack.
As the Hawks ran out of steam the Marauders forwards got on top and there was only going to be one winner.
Wilson completed the rout with two great tries. Firstly the forwards provided yet further excellent ball for him to run at his opposite number, beat him easily and race 30 metres for a try, converted by centre Joe Stephenson.
Then with the half coming to a close he dummied centre Tom Brown to feed back row Micky Clayton running into a large hole in the Hawks defence.
Clayton tried to run over the Hawks full back, who tackled well but he managed to off load to Wilson in support to cross the whitewash.
Stephenson converted and there was much celebration at the end of the game by the Marauders.
This win was built on an excellent performance including the substitutes, allowing the Marauders to keep players fresh and singling any one player out from the pack would be unfair.
The backs defended well and on the limited occasions they received the ball they looked dangerous, Wilson taking his tries well.
Man of the match went to second row Mark Shackley for a bruising display.
The old enemy Scarborough are the visitors this Saturday and although there are still areas to work on, notably the line out, The Marauders will go into the game full of confidence.