Bridlington RUFC 29 Huddesrfield YMCA 32
SECOND-placed Huddersfield YMCA had to endure a long journey due to the closure of the M62.
The kick off had to be pushed back, as they had been caught up in traffic.
At least, the weather had been kind, with a mild day with a light breeze, and the pitch was in good condition despite all the recent wet weather.
Bridlington couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game. Receiving the kick off, the forwards drove out to the 40 metre line.
Jamie Muru chipped the ball over the defence, Sizwe Zondo gathered the ball then put a grubbing kick of his own through the scrambling defence for AJ Burrows to score a converted try out wide, with less than five minutes on the clock.
Huddersfield responded well, driving upfield quickly to kicking range where they were awarded a penalty which they kicked successfully.
Bridlington attacked from the restart with a good run by Ryan Kerr up to the halfway line.
The home side continued the pressure as they edged upfield, but were undone by a penalty against them.
Huddersfield seized their chance and marched play back into Bridlington`s half. With the forwards stringing phases together, pick and drive, then from a lineout they got a rolling maul going from which Ryder was able to score an unconverted try.
Huddersfield mounted another attack, but Ezra Luxton was able to rip the ball in the tackle to start a Bridlington attack.
Forwards secured this for the backs to attack from deep and Regan Stirk kicked ahead.
Chasing well, he was able to rip the ball out of the catcher’s hands, off-loading to Ezra Luxton who was able to score a try out wide by the corner flag.
Muru stepped up and was again successful with the conversion.
Again Huddersfield came back, and a catch and drive from a lineout turned into a rolling maul as the forwards moved upfield.
When they were seven metres from the line, the ball was fired along the back line, Bridlington backs scrambled across to cover but Huddersfield had a man over enabling them to score another try, through Stead,who also added the conversion.
The home side then began to make good progress up field from the restart, before a high tackle on Zondo, allowed Muru to kick for a lineout on Huddersfield’s 22.
Luxton caught the ball at the back of the line, and made a good run but was stopped 10 metres short of the line.
Huddersfield were able to turn the ball over for the full back to kick to touch at their 40.
Bridlington won the lineout, driving time and again against the defence tying the forwards in close before releasing the backs.
Zondo broke through the line before kicking ahead, for Regan Stirk to chase, diving on the ball as it crossed the line for another try, converted by Jamie Muru.
There then was a period where both teams had good possession, which saw three successful penalty kicks two for Huddersfield’s winger Stead and one for Muru.
Then towards the end of the half Huddersfield were able to score another converted try, when the ball came out the back of a ruck.
The loose ball rolled over the Bridlington line, and Ryder was first to react, diving on it to set up an easy conversion between the posts.
Bridlington worked well from the restart, making good progress again, but with time running out Jamie Muru opted to kick a penalty at goal from inside his own half, and this was unsuccessful, allowing the referee to end the half.
The hosts worked well from the start of the second half, and great break by Girking releasing Stirk for a run down the touch line, but he pulled up for a forward pass.
Bridlington kept their heads and were soon on the attack once more.
Sizwe Zondo powered forwards from inside his half, but was tackled high just outside Huddersfield’s 22. He got back up and continued to 15 metres from the line, where the forwards arrived to secure the ball but it was turned over, so the referee took play back to the high tackle just outside the 22.
Huddersfield were able to win the lineout, but the home side were quick to regain possession, but again were foiled short of the line, penalised for holding on in the tackle.
Then as Huddersfield reached Bridlington`s 40, they won another penalty which Stead knocked over, his fourth successful kick of the game.
Bridlington defended well from the restart, eventually mounting an attack. The forwards picked and drove time and again before releasing the backs, with good running by Girking, Kerr and Burrows taken the ball up to Huddersfield’s 40.
Martin Robinson sniped around the ruck for a short gain, then the forwards secured once more.
After a good run by Girking, the forwards lost the ball forwards, but then won the resultant scrum.
James Thompson picked from the base to feed Robinson, A wide pass by Muru to Zondo broke the defence again releasing Stirk, who poweredhis way towards the line.
Despite being tackled short of the line he was able to reach out to score an unconverted try by the flag, to level the scores at 29-29.
The rest of the half saw Bridlington pounding the Huddersfield defence, spending a long period five metres from the line, but they were not able to cross for a try despite numerous attempts by the forwards.
Huddersfield were able to score another penalty from Stead to edge them in front, then in the dying moments of the game, Muru had the opportunity to get a draw with a kick at goal following a trip on Luxton as he drove over the 40 metre line, but unfortunately on this occasion the ball was just the wrong side of the upright.