Bridlington RUFC 17
Knottingley RUFC 3
THE pitch was in quite good condition following the recent heavy rain, but was still boggy in places.
A last minute change to the home line up had to be made following illness to captain Ali Sutton. This allowed Tom Hanson a chance to step up from the second team.
Knottingley kicked off the game to Bridlington who, after many phases, were awarded a penalty which was kicked to touch on halfway.
Bridlington continued to attack the visitors, progressing slowly up the park until they were awarded a penalty, in range of the posts, but unfortunately the attempt was missed.
The hosts again pressed from the drop out, but the chip over the defence was gathered by the full back, who kicked for a lineout 15m from his line.
There then followed a passage of play where both teams resorted to kicking the ball back and forth, until Knottingley decided to run it out.
A loose ball was seized by Morgan Kinnaird, but as the ball was fed to the backs, Knottingley put in some good tackles and turned the ball over.
Despite a brief period in Bridlington’s half, play was again often at the other end. Bridlington again got the upper hand attacking the line, until they were awarded a penalty just inside the 22.
This was kicked for a 15-metre lineout, and following a catch and drive by the home side, then picking and driving by the forwards, they were again stopped a metre or so from the try line.
Knottingley won the ball back after a knock on, which they used well as they marched their way up field, and eventually the stand-off kicked ahead, bouncing the ball into touch on Bridlington’s 22.
The home side took control from the lineout, short drives by the forwards set up a good attacking platform, before the backs were released to attack.
After a great run by AJ Burrows the ball was spun along the back line, but he was stopped as he reached the halfway line.
As ever, the forwards were there quickly in numbers, releasing the backs once more, then a combination of forward and back play saw Bridlington again stopped just short of the line, for a scrum to the visitors.
The ball was kicked long up field, gathered by Stevie Mellonby, who fed Tom Kemp to run the ball back, he and Burrows, exchanged a number of passes as they raced down the touch line, culminating in a try for AJ Burrows, the conversion attempt bouncing back off the post.
Knottingley tried a cheeky restart kick to the opposite side to the forward, bouncing the ball into touch.
Bridlington were quick to react, taking a quick throw in, and Mellonby made a run then fed Burrows, who again raced down the touch line, but this time was forced into touch at Knottingley’s 22.
With the lineout won, Knottingley strung phases together as they gained ground, then following a scrum on halfway, a kick ahead bounced the ball into touch 15 metres from the Bridlington line.
But their hard work was wasted as the ball went into touch over the try line for a drop out.
The home side escaped to the halfway line following a returned kick from the drop out, Ezra Luxton catching the ball and running hard into the defence.
Knottingley were penalised for being offside, so the referee ran to the halfway before awarding a penalty to the home side.
The lineout was won by the home side, but the ball was knocked down behind Robinson, who had to scramble back, and was tackled as he gathered the ball.
Good work by the retreating forwards, gave quick ball to Kemp.
Kicking over the rushing defence into space, Regan Stirk chased and kicked ahead then dived on to the ball for another Bridlington try, which this time was successfully converted by Mellonby.
Again the teams returned to the kicking game, but Knottingley got the upper hand as Bridlington tried to run the ball out from their 22.
Then the visitors were awarded a penalty following a scrum just outside the 22, which they kicked successfully at goal.
After sloppy play from both sides as the ball was hacked back and forth, Zolani Faba picked up the loose ball, running it at the visitors.
It was quickly recycled by the forwards, Kemp again kicked ahead into space for Stirk to chase, but this time he knocked the ball on five metres from the line as he tried to pick it up to dive over the line.
Bridlington pounded the defence for many phases, Knottingley however were able to kick the ball up field into touch for a lineout, and from here they attacked using both backs and forwards up to the halfway line.
They made slow progress up the field, until the referee ended the half.
The second half started with both teams again playing the kicking game, and it was like watching tennis as the ball was kicked first one way then the other.
Eventually, the visitors marched up the field, winning lineouts and scrums as they went, but it was the home side who got a break, following a scrum on their 40 metre line.
A long kick up field was chased by Burrows, tackling the waiting player as he caught the ball, forcing him into touch 10 metres from the line.
A penalty to Bridlington was taken quickly by Martin Robinson and he scored an unconverted try.
The remainder of the second half saw both sides battling well, each having good attacking efforts, but failing to convert the pressure into points.
The referee ended the game following an altercation between both sets of players, showing red cards to one player from each side.
Club sponsors: North Bay Caravan Park and Hudson Contract Services
This week Bridlington are away to York in the Yorkshire Shield