Bridlington Mariners 29
Knottingley 2nds 12
THE Mariners welcomed Knottingley to Dukes Park for what was expected to be a hotly contested match.
The game started with pace and determination and from the offset it was evident that both teams were committed to achieve a win.
Knottingley commanded the first five minutes of the game testing the home defence with strong tackles which led to the early departure of Michael Clayton with a knee injury. A replacement was made with Jai Campbell in the second row.
This early change did not appear to unsettle the team and with strong leadership from captain John Lee, Bridlington regained control.
Daniel Girking and Morgan Kinnaird gained ground which tested Knottingley, resulting in a penalty for the home side.
Oliver Stephenson took a quick tap, passing to Tom Keeping who gave a reverse off load to Scott Stevens allowing him to weave through the Knottingley defence to score in the corner for the first try of the match.
Following the restart a nice gather from Will Davies saw him reach the halfway line supported by Gary Stevens who took the pass and moved the ball out to Connor Spencer who was tackled into touch just before the try line.
The Knottingley defence was strong and following an injury replacement for them, they came back to score and convert taking the score to 5-7.
Bridlington responded with Will Davies and Gary Stevens combining their talents to take the ball closer to the try line, further support from Tom Hanson, Tom Hickson and strong running from Tom Keeping led to Micky Edmond going over for Bridlington`s second try.
Knottingley restarted with a kick that failed to reach the 10 metre line giving Bridlington a scrum, once again putting Knottingley under pressure before going into the halftime break.
The second half saw Scott Stevens, Jai Campbell, Morgan Kinnaird, Connor Spencer and Will Davies replaced by Sam Emmerson, Brett Hales, Tom Brown, Matt Taylor and Michael Chatham, who immediately gave a strong tackle on a Knottingley player, taking him down and causing them to knock on.
This resulted in a scrum that led to Bridlington`s third try from Tom Brown with a successful conversion by Sam Emmerson.
Knottingley came back with strong play, however Bridlington`s excellent defence continued with Tom Bennett, Lee and Adam McTurk in just about every ruck and maul keeping Knottingley from gaining ground to score.
With excellent tough tackles from Daniel Girking, strong team drives led to a great run from Gary Stevens which saw him score again with ease placing the ball under the posts, giving Sam Emmerson an easy opportunity to convert, making the score 22-7.
A short lived Knottingley comeback which included poor play from both teams allowed them to go over to make it 22-12.
Tom Hickson was replaced by Jai Campbell who went in at prop and Connor Spencer in at flanker for Michael Chatham.
Despite Knottingley working hard for the last 20 minutes of the game they failed to break through, allowing Bridlington`s backs to demonstrate their swift handling abilities that led to a Gary Stevens surge up field to finish the game with a final try converted by the skilful boot of Sam Emmerson.
Men of the match: Gary Stevens and Daniel Girking
This week Bridlington Mariners are at home to Hull/York Medics