Derby-day defeat for Bridlington RUFC at home to Driffield

James Thompson makes a tackle to halt one of the many Driffield surges forward
James Thompson makes a tackle to halt one of the many Driffield surges forward

Bridlington RUFC lost 27-17 at home to old rivals Driffield on Saturday afternoon, their first defeat this season in North One East.

Driffield attacked from a scrum and Ryan Girking tackled strongly to force a turnover and give Brid the scrum, unfortunately prop Ryan Nepia was injured and had to be replaced by Matthew Faulkner.

The visitors attacked from a good line-out on the halfway and made ground into the Brid 22, from this pressure they drove to the line and were credited with the try to lead 7-0 after 10 minutes.

Dan Robinson kicked off superbly and Brid regained possession and from a series of attacks Driff were under extreme pressure but Brid became predictable and the visiting centre intercepted and galloped 90 metres to score to make it 14-0.

Another good kick-off gave Brid territory and again Driff were lucky not to have a man yellow-carded after two more infringements in their 22 and the hosts converted the ensuing penalty to make it 14-3.

Driff came back strongly and pressured Brid’s line-out into several mistakes and a super Jamie Martin tackle gave them brief respite before they came offside and gifted Driff a pen to lead 17-3.

Dewi Roberts was replaced by Chris Young and a great kick from Robinson gave Brid another attacking line-out but again it was lost and Driff were handed back the momentum, cleared and then were gifted a pen and made it 20-3.

The second half continued in the same vein with Brid kicking well but then losing line-outs in vital areas and Driffield quickly recycled phases to pressure Brid.

The hosts’ character was immense and skipper Martin and returning Roberts put in good tackles to force the turnover as Brid cleared.

Brid’s scrum improved as did the line-out and finally the belief came back and a strong forward charge allowed the backs space and a super move saw Gary Stevens carve the defence wide open and scored a try converted by Mellonby to make it 20-10.

Brid were playing smarter rugby now, Dewi Roberts Callam Sanderson and Gary Heeley ran hard and Robinson began probing the corners and from a line-out Girking made ground with Stevens but a knock-on saved Driffield, the pressure was telling and the experienced visiting centre lost his cool and was sin-binned for fighting.

This gave Brid more momentum and Otis Floyd stole the ball 10 metres out, Robinson fed Martin who found space in midfield, a quick ruck allowed Floyd to snipe a dive over under the posts, converted by Mellonby to bring it back to 20-17.

Brid needed to clear well from the restart but a sliced clearance gave Driff territory and their powerful number eight made 30 metres and the forwards earned a try to lead 27-17.

Brid came back and James Thompson made ground and with all the touch-line urging the hosts on, first Josh Thundercliffe had a try disallowed and so did Sanderson, both seemed fine from the touchline but not to the referee.

With time running out Brid turned down a penalty which would have given them a deserved bonus point,instead they went for the try and a knock-on saw Driff clear and the full-time whistle went.

Brid’s character is unquestionably fantastic, but decision-making and the loss of vital line-outs with the disruptions they had were costly.

Floyd, Sanderson, Cookson and Thompson played well but man of the match was the impressive Dewi Roberts.