Superb Stevens shines as Brid see off rivals Keighley

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

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Bridlington maintained their charge towards the Yorkshire One title when they powered to a 66-17 victory against fellow high-flyers Keighley.

The well-drilled West Yorkshire outfit travelled to Dukes Park with plans of recording a victory and keeping them in touch with a Brid side, who were expecting a tough afternoon.

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Jimmy Thompson made a welcome return to the team and Scott Stevens came onto the bench after several good games in the second team.

The weather and pitch were excellent and the 80 minutes of rugby were a treat to watch as Brid played perhaps their best team rugby of the season to destroy the challenge from the visitors.

Brid kicked off and Keighley had ample possession in the first 15 minutes, but were met by what has become an aggressive and uncompromising Brid defence, lead by Jamie Martin, Ryan Nepia and Gareth Loubser.

Keighley were already running out of ideas and the inevitable turnovers came when Brid pounced, Paddy Waines and Wiremu Cookson carried for Will Davies and Gary Stevens to combined for the latter to score. Ben Dearing’s conversion made it 7-0.

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Moments later Brid were 14.0 up as Matiu Welch sent through a lovely pass to Dearing and he put Stevens in again for another converted try.

Loubser took a fine kick-off, one of several on the day, and although Brid knocked on their powerful scrum, which was always sending keighley backwards, won possession.

Ryan Girking ran and linked with the pair of Nepia and Josh Thundercliffe, Welch gave Stevens the pass and the winger finished well to complete a hat-trick and make it 21-0.

Keighley then had another 10-metre burst, though good defence from Callum Sanderson, Girking and Martin kept them out, but a loose kick caught Brid offside and their top performer Alex Brown slotted the penalty home.

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

Bridlington 66 Keighley 17. Pictures by Paul Atkinson

The same player then took the opportunity to intercept a loose pass and ran 50 metres to score just before half-time, making it 21-10 and giving Brid a wake-up call.

Loubser again snaffled the kick-off, before Girking andStevens combined with Martin to gain ground.

Keighley cleared but from the line-out Sanderson cantered through and Dearing again hit a superb conversion to make the score 28-10.

Brid were now dominant in all areas, with Keighley being exhausted by powerful defence and speedy attacks.

Stevens scored his fourth from a lovely handling involving Nepia, Trent Rowlands and Girking.

Davies was the next on the scoresheet, finishing in style after a sublime back movement and the score was 42-10.

Keighley tried again, but when Martin and Loubser won the ball and from the scrum, Waines hit a powerful line to score a converted try, which made it 49-10.

Brid’s concentration dipped for five minutes to allow Keighley a converted try from a chip through.

Scott Stevens came in for Davies and was straight into the action, along with Gary Heeley and Joe Gladstone.

All three gave the team a boost for the last 20 minutes, which shows Brid’s strength in depth.

Dearing was the next to capitalise from Nepia’s soft hands, scoring wide out before Stevens bagged an incredible fifth try.

Sanderson finished the scoring on the final whistle to score his second and Brid’s 10th, added to by an impressive eight impressive conversions by Dearing.

This was a truly excellent performance from Brid.

The scrum was excellent throughout, Loubser was impressive at the kick-offs, both gave Brid ample possession to show there skills.

All Brid’s players were outstanding, but for an amazing display of finishing in his five tries the man of the match went to Gary Stevens.

This week Brid make the long trip to improving North Ribblesdale to try and keep their unbeaten record