BRIDLINGTON arrived at Knottingley to find a soggy wet pitch and constant fine rain, which seemed set for the day.
Bridlington conceded two penalties in the first few minutes, not the start they hoped for, but luckily these were out of the range of the Knottingley kickers.
The visitors soon won themselves a free kick, which Jamie Muru hoisted high into the heavens. This was collected by Ryan Girking, who ran in for an easy try beneath the posts., which was converted by Muru.
Knottingley restarted well, moving the ball up the park, until eventually winning a penalty which they successfully kicked.
Then both teams seemed to find it difficult to hold onto the wet ball, as the weather showed no signs of clearing up.
The referee called both captains over, to speak to their sides, about all the handling in the rucks, and awarded a penalty to Bridlington, which Muru kicked successfully from the 40 metre line.
Next it was the visitors’ turn to concede a penalty as prop Mark Floyd was pulled for not binding properly at the scrum. The home side stand off kicked for goal.
Both sides decided that it was safer to kick for territory, rather than run the risk of knocking the ball on.
But it wasn’t long before Knottingley managed to give away a penalty. Muru stepped up and kicked well again, increasing the visitors’ score.
It wasn’t long before Muru saw a gap in the home defence, and his crossfield kick was collected by Regan Stirk, who fed the ball to full back Sizwe Zondo, who hit the ball with pace and scored a try.
Bridlington then put pressure on the home side winning phase after phase, moving the ball up to five metres from the try line.
The lineout was taken short to Floyd who secured the ball well but Gary Heeley was shown the yellow card for using a swinging arm, and a short time later, the referee blew his whistle for the end of the half, the score 18-6 to Bridlington.
Knottingley started the second half by kicking deep in to the Bridlington 22, AJ Burrows collected this and sent the ball back with a good kick.
The home forwards moved the ball back with a number of pick and go moves until, Rob Medforth managed to win the ball back for the visitors but it was soon knocked on.
The resulting scrum saw the home side being awarded a number of penalties, which they kicked for touch moving ever nearer to the Bridlington line.
At the 5m line however the visitors showed their skill by repeatedly winning the line out, firstly through Michael Ridsdale, then Tom Benninger, feeding Ali Sutton, who managed to make about 10 metres before being hauled to the ground.
Muru put up another good ball, chased by the backs who won a penalty just inside the home side’s 40 metre line, Muru cleared the ball up to the 22 metre line.
With another lineout win, Muru used his boot again for an excellent crossfield kick, and AJ Burrows collected this and scored out wide.
The conversion attempt was missed as Muru’s standing foot slipped on the wet grass, as he was about to kick.
Both teams then had chances to make ground, each time being stopped, and eventually the kicking game was started again, as Knottingley put a kick through on Zondo, who managed to collect but was driven backwards a good 10 metres by the rushing backs.
The home side got themselves into trouble, by not having enough support for their runners.
This allowed captain Mark Oliver to reach through and steal the ball. Knottingley however soon won the ball back, then took their time and the forwards made multiple phases, as they marched up the field, eventually they scored a try, which was successfully converted.
Bridlington restarted, moving the ball well using both forwards and backs as they marched up field, looking for the bonus point try,.
Ten metres short of the line they were awarded a penalty which Muru kicked, and shortly after he was replaced by Tom Kemp.
Knottingley kicked off straight into the arms of Martin Robinson, who fed the backs. Quick hands saw Regan Stirk in for the bonus point try out wide, making it difficult for the conversion.
But Kemp was up to the challenge and successfully converted.
Bridlington then had to face being a man down with about eight minutes remaining, as Ridsdale was shown the yellow card for tripping.
The home side decided to run the penalty from 10 metres out, but they didn’t count on Floyd, who hit the ball carrier hard knocking the player back dislodging the ball in the process.
A last ditch effort saw them kicking the ball high into the Bridlington 22, which was collected by Burrows. Bridlington forwards supported and started to drive up the park, but following a breakdown the referee ended the game.
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