National Intermediate Cup quarter finals
ECCLES started the stronger, using their larger pack, as they picked and drove at the home side, but a big tackle by Morgan Kinnaird undid their hard work, enabling Bridlington to turn the ball over.
Good runs by Gary Heeley then Ezra Luxton entered Eccles half, and Bridlington kept up the pressure despite losing the ball momentarily to the visitors.
They attacked again through Ryan Kerr, but Eccles were saved by a penalty inside the 22.
A free kick for an early engagement of the scrum, was taken quickly by Martin Robinson, for Auryn Murray and Zolani Faba to drive into the 22 once again.
Jamie Muru put a short pass to Regan Stirk, who broke the line and drew the full back before offloading a great pass to Kerr who dived over for the first try of the match.
After a good restart return by Luxton, Eccles were able to escape their half with a good lineout followed by a long kick upfield.
Bridlington ran the ball back, but Eccles turned it over in their 40. Luxton stole possession, passed to James Thompson just outside the 22, and the Kiwi ran diagonally for the line, diving over to score a try.
Eccles ran hard from the restart, making good progress, and eventually forced Bridlington to concede a penalty within distance of the posts, but the kick went wide of the upright.
The visitors caught the drop out in the 22 and returned a good kick to Bridlington’s 40 for a lineout, Eccles caught and drove from the lineout stopped at the 22, where the ball was turned over.
Bridlington continued to pound the Eccles defence, and from a scrum on Eccles 40, Thompson fed Robinson, Zondo broke through and Stirk beat the last defender to dive under the posts for a try converted by Stevie Mellonby.
Eccles worked well from the restart, winning a number of penalties to make their way to just outside Bridlington’s 22, but the hosts drove them backwards time and again.
Finally Eccles forced their way over the line, only to be held up by Robinson and Muru. They pounded the line continually for a good 10 minutes, but with no reward due to great defensive work. Then on Bridlington’s 22, the ball went loose, it was hacked up field and chased by Stirk, who kicked again and again until the ball rolled over the line, diving on it for another try converted by Mellonby.
After the break, Bridlington stood firm, despite two yyellow cards, with the scrum moving sideways as neither pack yielded ground.
Eventually a scrum collapsed and the referee awarded Eccles a penalty try, which was easily converted by Luke Cullen.
Eccles continued to attack from the restart, but great defence by 13 man Bridlington, kept them at bay.
Two more yellow cards followed later in the half, one for each team, before Muru kicked a penalty to increase Bridlington’s lead.
The Manchester side managed to again string some phases together, their winger was stopped two metres short of the line, but the forwards secured the ball well for stand-off Sean Griffin to drive over a try.