Closing the gap on the top two

Withernsea 7 Bridlington 17

Withernsea 7 Bridlington 17

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Third-placed Bridlington Marauders travelled to second-placed Withernsea 1sts for their first league game of 2016.

Despite not playing for two weeks, they manage to seal a 17-7 win to keep up the pressure on the top two.

Matty Taylor in possession for Bridlington

Matty Taylor in possession for Bridlington

Electing to play uphill first, the Bridlington forwards dominated the rucks and mauls.

When the ball was stolen in one ruck, Bridlington broke away and with only one man to beat and the line approaching, they somehow managed to make a mess of the opportunity and pass the ball forwards.

Wave after wave of Bridlington pressue eventually told. When Withernsea were caught offside, Michael Nugent stepped up and kicked the penalty to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at half-time.

Now playing downhill, the foot-high grass was easier to manage and Bridlington started to run the ball.

Tom Milnes

Tom Milnes

When attacking the Withernsea wing, the ball was dropped and the home scrum-half picked up. He ran around the last defender to score under the posts.

The conversion was kicked and against the run of play, the home side found themselves 7-3 up.

From the re-start, Bridlington pushed Withersea back into their own 22.

After holding them there for 10 minutes, eventually they spilled the ball. Nugent picked up and scored next to the posts.

Josh Raynor kicked the conversion and Bridlington led 10-7.

Withernsea tried to rally but Bridlington kept their foot on the gas.

The home side could not get out of their own half and when a loose ball hit the floor, Ian Winterbottom kicked through.

He and Tom Harwood gave chase and Winterbottom got to the ball first and kicked again.

He won the race to the line and pounced on it to score what would prove to be a crucial try.

With only five minutes remaining, Bridlington brought on Rob Fryer for his first ever game of rugby at the age of 43.

He and the rest of the team held out to the end to record a fantastic win.

Man of the match went to Nugent but realistically, the whole team deserved the plaudits.

This Saturday, the Marauders are on the road again, when they travel to take on Hullensians 3rds.