Late drama in derby as Bridlington snatch win

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17
Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

The theme from The Great Escape was ringing around the Bridlington dressing room after they grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat in Saturday’s crunch derby match.

An injury time try from Jamie Martin gave the league leaders the points, as Scarborough were left ruing the fact they didn’t finish off their opponents when they were on top.

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

Even Bridlington’s coaching staff were left to admit they could not have argued if Scarborough had got the result, but three missed kicks in the final quarter of the game were to prove crucial.

The visitors had been well below-par but finally put a series of phases together at the death to snatch the game 17-15.

A crowd of almost 900 people gave both sides a rousing welcome and the game kicked off in a febrile atmosphere.

Scarborough kicked off with the slight breeze behind them and Jimmy Thompson took a fine catch but Brid were slow to support, which was a feature of Brid’s performance all afternoon.

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

The home side were awarded an early penalty for holding on but missed the kick and Bridlington punished them within five minutes.

Thompson and Ryan Girking made ground through the middle, Paddy Waines carried further before Josh Thundercliffe reached for the line.

Ben Dearing added the conversion and they led 7-0 after 10 minutes.

Scarborough came back strongly and a mixture of poor defence, poor discipline and some very ordinary kicking from the away side allowed them to build momentum.

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

A Tom Harrison break released Tom Ratcliffe down their right flank it looked as if he would make it to the line.

However the big full-back was mown down by a high tackle and after lengthy treatment was taken off and played no further part in the game.

After 20 minutes, their number eight Isaac Faamau picked up from a scrum and ran 20 metres, mainly sideways, to score at the posts and the conversion by fly-half Harrison levelled the scores.

Brid briefly had possession with Thompson, Waines and Girking making ground but Scarborough’s back row were winning the breakdowns and gaining penaltiess.

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

Scarborough 15 Bridlington 17

A ‘no quarter given or taken’ midfield battle continued with Bridlington’s Matui Welsh, Ryan Girking and Jamie Martin mixing it with Scarborough’s Harrison, Graham Hogg and Loni Loni, very much to the enjoyment of the festive crowd.

The visitors’ indiscipline wore the referee Carl Walsh down and he sin-binned Martin for hands in the ruck.

Scarborough’s breakaway unit of Ben Martin, Devin Ibanez and Faamau were relishing their work and it was a break from Faamau down the left lank that led to the Silver-Royders second try.

The visiting defence failed to stop the big number eight as he charged out of his own half and timed a terrific outside pass to lock forward Aaron Wilson, up in support, to power over near the corner flag in the 36th minute.

The home side kept attacking, and could have gone further ahead if not for two disallowed tries for forward passes, however they went into half time 12-7 ahead.

Bridlington started the second half strongly and Thompson, Thundercliffe, Gareth Loubser and Jamie Martin gave them hope but they lost an important lineout and Scarborough cleared.

The leaders then had a good spell with the ball but were predictable and their runners kept getting turned over, giving Scarborough several penalties, one of which was converted by Graham Hogg to stretch the lead to eight pints.

bridlington’s impressive record in derbies in recent years was looking in jeopardy. They mounted an attack down the right but a loose pass almost proved costly as the home side swept upfield but great covering by Matiu Welch and Otis Floyd saved the day.

Scarborough kept coming and Bridlington kept defending but they were giving penalties away as they kept failing to clear their lines, but the Silver Royd men kept missing the kicks.

With 15 minutes to go, Brid’s tenacity in defence and sheer graft, as opposed to their skill, finally got them into Scarborough’s 22 and the magician Welch dummied his way over and the great escape was on.

The conversion was missed but Martin Robinson and Ben Johnson came on for Dearing and skipper Girking and added impact, as did Gareth Roberts who was came on at half time and was becoming prominent.

As injury time approached, the impressive Thompson and Waines broke the line but a pass went astray and Scarborough then missed another penalty.

In injury-time Scarborough had the put-in at a lineout in the north-west corner of the ground where Bridlington had scored their opening try.

The visitors won the lineout and broke from defence, Scarborough conceded a penalty on halfway and the kick took play into the home 22.

With the last throw of the dice, Thundercliffe gave Bridlington momentum, which was carried on by Thompson before Johnson broke the line to feed Martin whose power took him over the line for the try.

Scarborough had one last chance but lost possession and Bridlington cleared for the referee to blow the final whistle and spark celebrations among the travelling contingent.

The home side played very well but didn’t finish Brid off when they had chance and paid the ultimate penalty as Brid’s never-say-die attitude saw them snatch

victory.

Scarborough’s back row were excellent, as was Thompson for Brid and he was man of the match.

For Scarborough there were many positives to be taken from this marvellous local derby, not least the outstanding performance of fly-half Harrison

Bridlington will be hoping to improve before next league game on January 7, at home to Selby.

On Monday, the Bill Hutchinson Memorial Trophy match will be played between the Bridlington first XV and the Exiles.

The traditional Boxing Day contest will get underway at 2pm.