North Ribblesdale 27
Bridlington RUFC 9
BRIDLINGTON had to endure a three-and-a-half hour journey to North Ribblesdale, with a number of forced changes to their side following injury.
Bridlington started the game well, forcing North Ribblesdale, to concede a number of penalties. Scrum half Stevie Mellonby, back in the first team following a good performance last week for the seconds, stepped up but uncharacteristically, missed the first two attempts at the posts.
However, he managed to successfully convert a penalty, to put Bridlington into an early lead, after only seven minutes of play. North Ribblesdale then marched up the field with a succession of good phases, eventually forcing the visitors to concede a penalty right in front of the posts, which they kicked, to bring the score level.
Over the next 10 minutes, both teams had and squandered chances to put points on the board.
The Bridlington backs AJ Burrows, Regan Stirk and Ryan Kerr worked well, moving the team up to the home side’s 22-metre line.
Ribblesdale dug their heels in, forcing the visitors to make errors and concede a number of penalties.
The visitors now found themselves pushed back deep into their own half, where they were unable to stop a try out wide, created by some good movement in the backs.
The Bridlington pack won some good ball, sending Gareth Roberts upfield linking well with Kieran Lawry, who chipped over the home defence, and dropping on the loose ball.
The home side’s scrambling defence worked well to stop the attack, but conceded a penalty, allowing Mellonby to convert.
Again the game went a bit scrappy, neither team making much ground, due to the penalties each team gave away.
Eventually though, Ribblesdale found themselves within range and successfully converted a penalty and extending their lead. Half time 11-6 to Ribblesdale
The second half started as the first ended with the home side putting pressure on the visitors and scoring a try out wide within the first two minutes.
To make matters worse for Bridlington flanker Gary Heeley was sent to the sin bin for an infringement at the ruck, and the resulting penalty was successfully converted.
Bridlington however worked well, even though they were a man down, feeding Roberts the ball and he raced just short of the home try line, only to be injured during the encounter.
A penalty was awarded to them which Mellonby converted.
Ribblesdale again came out fighting, making their way up the park to the Bridlington try line.
Roberts then had to leave the field, as he was still feeling the effects of his earlier injury. This left Bridlington a man down as all subs had been used.
The home team then used their pack well and set up a drop goal. Bridlington were further hindered when Mellonby also had to leave the park through injury.
This, however seemed to give the visitors more determination, as they made their way up the park again with good link play from the forwards through Adam Dixon, Rob Medforth and Danny Perkin.
The numbers game then played a big part for the home side, who managed to steal the ball from a tired Bridlington pack, which they fed uickly out to the backs who scored the final try out by the touchline.
Following the failed conversion attempt the referee ended the game, 27-9 to North Ribblesdale.
Man of the match: Gary Heeley:shirt sponsored by ABC Scaffolding
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