Rich’s Review

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The views of Bridlington director of rugby Rich Girking after the Boxing Day game against the Exiles.

“AN EXCELLENT way to celebrate the annual Bill Hutchinson memorial game versus the Exiles, was to put 30 players together, all wanting to play open rugby and excite the large crowd.

“Even though it was a heavy pitch, that’s what happened.

“The game is played in memory of Bill Hutchinson Senior and also Bill Junior, and has been running for 28 years and I’m sure they both would have been proud of the day’s events, on and off the field.

“The Exiles game is one of the most important in the club;s calender and hundreds turned up to support the family, either on the touchline or in the bar.

“The game was played in excellent spirit with tough but fair challenges throughout and great credit must go to both sets of players.

“The Exiles, put together for the first of many years hopefully by Simon Smith and son Tim were strong throughout.

“But their backline especially was dangerous with three players of National Two experience, one being Yorkshire captain Kyle Dench.

“Another, Lloyd Wheeldon, has played at North of England junior level and county u15s.

“There was Ben Sanderson on the wing and Yorkshire u20’s Ben Johnson in the centre, as well as county players Albert Thundercliffe and Matty Adams in the forwards.

“The rest of the players weren’t too bad either.

“Bridlington’s team was also strong, although there were some players away or ill, and those who didn’t play missed a quality game, in which we showed the type of form we have lacked in recent weeks.

“Both forwards and backs combined well throughout the game, with player coach Jamie Muru making a welcome return and pulling the strings.

“But it was our defence that stood out, something that hasn’t been as good of late.

“Time and again we stopped the Exiles’ powerful side behind the gain line and when they did breach, our scramble defence was outstaanding.

“We managed to score five tries, all finished well from good approach play - four from wingers, and one from good forward play, but to keep a clean sheet against such a potent attacking unit was a great example of defence winning games.

“Massive thank yous to Stevie and Steve Carl for running touch, ref David Hickson, who kept the game flowing where possible, Anndy Kempton and the return of Lee O’Neill was good to see, not just for the bar takings either.

“Simon and Tim deserve a special mention for putting together such a good side, and they did suggest everyone was more than keen to play, and several more have promised a return next year, so look out Brid next year - the Exiles will want revenge.

“We must now gain confidence from this, and take the form into the New Year. If we do Barnsley and Scarborough better beware.

“Health and happiness for the New Year to all.