‘The biggest game in our 81-year history’

Coalville v Bridlington
Coalville v Bridlington

Bridlington Rugby Club are heading to Twickenham, after booking their place in the National Intermediate Cup final.

The club is looking forward to its biggest day since it formed in 1922, after winning 16-15 at Coalville in Saturday’s semi-final.

Chairman Gordon Morrice said: “It will be the biggest game in our 81-year history. We’ve won promotion several times, and the Yorkshire Shield four times, but to play on the hallowed turf at the home of rugby is something special.

“I’ve been to Twickenham many, many times to watch England but to go and watch my own club there will be the ultimate highlight. I’ve been on the committee for 30 years and this will be the number one.

“We’ve already had some very nice messages from Driffield and Ilkley and I’m sure there will be more when the word spreads.

“We are all really looking forward to it, and not just the local lads, but the overseas players too. They are so excited. The atmosphere on the bus coming home on Saturday night was tremendous.”

New Zealander James Thompson scored a try in Saturday’s semi-final with local lads AJ Burrows and Stevie Mellonby putting the other points on the board as Bridlington fought back from being 12-6 down at half time.

Director of rugby Rich Girking has challenged his players to rise to the occasion of playing at one of Britain’s most iconic sporting venues.

“The semi-final was all about winning, not about playing well. We have sneaked through, without being at our best and now it is all about Twickenham.

“There are some players who are professionals for 10 years who never get to play at Twickenham, so for us to go there and not play well and enjoy it would be criminal.”

Unfortunately, South African prop Zolani Faba’s Visa expires before the final so he will miss out, but another import Auryn Murray can stay until the day after the Twickenham showpiece.

Waiting for them there are Brighton Blues, who beat St Austell in the other semi-final last month.

Morrice said: “I think they have been to Twickenham three times in the last four years.

“They are a big club and they have won their league by a mile, scoring an incredible number of points.

“I think we will definitely be going into the final as underdogs. it will be an awesome task, and I know the players will be nervous, but some will thrive on that. They are certainly up for it.”

The club will be taking a 48-strong party of players, coaches and officials, who will stay at a hotel for two nights.

The cost is expected to be around £7,000 and businesses wanting to sponsor the day can call Neil Arton on 07711 404329 or email gordonmorrice@ymail.com.

A supporters’ bus is also running on the day and places can be booked at the Dukes Park clubhouse.