Fast start sees Bridlington make Shield progress

Bridlington v Heath
Bridlington v Heath

Bridlington marched into the second round of the Yorkshire Shield by laying down a marker against a side expected to be on of the rivals for the league title this season.

Heath are among the fancied sides in Yorkshire One, but the hosts were quick out of the blocks and raced into an 18-0 lead inside half-an-hour, eventually running out 33-24 winners.

Bridlington v Heath

Bridlington v Heath

Head coach Paul Cook said: “It was a good win against a good side.

“They were big up front and had a very good goal kicker and I know they have hopes of doing well in the league this season because they have recruited a few players.

“We were 18-0 up and should have taken the game away from them,but we let ourselves down in the second half and our concentration dropped. We didn’t have much ball in the first 15 or 20 minutes and made some silly errors, although our defence was very good.

“We didn’t play rugby in the right areas of the pitch and it was more to do with thinking than fitness.”

Bridlington v Heath

Bridlington v Heath

The afternoon began with a minute’s silence in memory of Alan Warrington, former president, chairman and captain and a great ambassador of the club, who died last week.

Bridlington started strongly and after five minutes Ben Johnson and Ryan Girking turned possession over, Jimmy Thompson carried strongly and forced a penalty, which Stevie Mellonby kicked.

He added another penalty on 10 minutes but wrong options were putting Bridlington under pressure.

Eventually, the home side worked upfield and Will Davies linked with Girking to set Mellonby away. He was held up short, but the ensuing ruck saw Martin Robinson power over.

Bridlington were now looking dangerous in possesion and when a poor clearance kick went to Matiu Welch, he somehow managed to dance and sidestep several would-be tacklers and score a super try under the sticks for Mellonby to convert.

At 18-0 up, Bridlington slipped into bad habits and Heath kicked two penalties to make the scoreline 18-6 at half time.

A resurgent Heath began the second half well and pressure told with a penalty and a converted try.

Only two points ahead, Brid hadn’t seen the ball for 15 minutes but eventually got into Heath territory, where Welch once again bamboozled the visitors’ defence and scored at the posts, converted by Mellonby.

Again, Brid made errors but Heath could only manage another penalty, even when Girking had been sin-binned.

Mellonby’s boot stretched the lead to 28-19 and with 10 minutes left, Welch put a clever kick to the corner, Heath were under pressure and Wiremu Cookson supported the backs and charged in from 20 yards.

Heath grabbed a consolation try at the death but Bridlington progressed and will travel to Whitby in round two on October 15.

The league campaign gets underway this Saturday, when Old Brodleians are the visitors to Dukes Park.