Coach and squad celebrate a ‘season to be proud of’

Bridlington's first team squad
Bridlington's first team squad

Bridlington RUFC celebrated a season where they exceeded all expectations at their annual awards dinner.

The first team finished third in Yorkshire One, with 96 points, which in many other years would have been good enough for a play-off spot.

Clubmen of the year: Keith Bellman and Brian Goodhand with president Neil Arton.

Clubmen of the year: Keith Bellman and Brian Goodhand with president Neil Arton.

The Marauders, the club’s third XV, capped off a memorable year by winning the Merit League Division two play off against Hessle Stags.

Head coach Paul Cook said: “There is much to be proud of this season and to look forward to next year. We will enjoy a few weeks rest at the moment and then begin fitness work in July.”

New Zealander Matiu Welch was named player of the season for his displays at fly half, while Callum Sanderson was the first team’s most improved player.

Tom Brown was second team player of the year, with Tom Harwood claiming the third team honours. Josh raynor and Jorden Goodman were named the most improved players in the squads.

Player of the season Matiu Welch

Player of the season Matiu Welch

The clubman of the year award went to Keith Bellman and Brian Goodhand, who stand on the gate week in week out in all weathers.

Cook said: “The squad have been great, they have trained well and we have played a very attacking style. Matiu Welch was very creative at 10, and Ryan Girking and Jamie Martin flourished outside of him.

“Gary Stevens bagged leading try scorer although Will Davies was not far behind. The pack were mobile and our set piece solid. Jimmy Thompson and Callum Sanderson were very influential in the back row and Paddy Waines and Dewi Roberts were powerful ball carriers.

“Gary Heeley was Mr Versatile, and Otis Floyd very reliable.

Gary Stevens was top try scorer

Gary Stevens was top try scorer

“We found our feet in late August with a narrow defeat in the Yorkshire Shield at Bradford and Bingley who went on to win the league, where we played excellently.

“In the league we beat West Park Leeds, Brodleians and Yarnbury comfortably. We lost narrowly again in September, away at Bradford but crucially missed 12 points with kicks at goal.

“We won the local derby against Scarborough which was a tight affair and we were moving the ball around well and looking very organised in defence. Apart from missing a few kicks at goal, there were many promising parts to our game.

“October went much the same way and we gave Crossleyans a 90-point thrashing. We then played Malton in a very big game which we lost 16-13. We had chances to win it, particularly dropping the ball over the line in the second half. This was a dent to any promotion chances we had.

“As poor weather and heavy pitches arrived, we had a couple of bad days at the office at Bradford Salem and Brodleians. These games were definitely winnable and we would rue these missed points later in the season.

“After Christmas, we kicked on with good wins against Scarborough away, Yarnbury and York.

“We played terribly against Hullensians away in freezing weather but by March we were still third with a possibility of coming second if we beat Malton away, however, they were too strong up front, especially at scrum time and lineout, and we lost by 10 points.”