A struggle from start to finish for Bridlington

Scarborough 16 Bridlington 3. Picture by Richard Ponter.
Scarborough 16 Bridlington 3. Picture by Richard Ponter.

Scarborough maintained their early challenge in Yorkshire One with a deserved but not entirely convincing win over a struggling Bridlington outfit at Silver Royd.

Kicking off, the men from Dukes Park made the early running driving deep into home territory wide on their right, but although they spent the opening minutes there, they lacked the penetration and ideas to maximise their territorial advantage and fly-half Tom Harrison cleared his lines.

With the forwards having the best of things at the set scrums Scarborough had a solid platform to launch their lively backs but too often at the breakdown, referee Chris Lunn failed to let things develop at the ruck with the team going forward being penalised.

A searing break through the middle by fly-half Harrison almost saw the first try but a last ditch tackle saved the day for Brid.

However the pressure told and when the visitors infringed, wing Tom Ratcliffe kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead in the ninth minute.

A pretty stop-start affair ensued with both sides looking to give some shape to the game but a string of penalties produced pretty turgid fare for the 700-odd spectators basking in the autumn sunshine.

Scarborough pressure produced a couple of further chances for Ratcliffe, but he was desperately unlucky on both occasions hitting the upright then the crossbar with his kicks.

It looked as if the half was going to finish try-less when a mistake by visiting wingman Will Davies led to a Scarborough touchdown. A penalty from Harrison was about to find touch in the visitors’ 22 but Davies with a leap managed to prevent it going into touch; however hesitation between him and full-back Sizwe Zondo saw the ever-alert Ratcliffe nip in and feed centre Benji Cottle who strode in for the try.

Ratcliffe missed the touchline conversion and Scarborough led 8-0 at the break.

In a very rare incursion into home territory, Bridlington left wing Stevie Mellonby kicked a long range penalty at the third time of asking to reduce the arrears to five points at 8-3 in the 51st minute. It was just about the last time they got anywhere near the home 22.

And the hosts struck back just four minutes later when a period of pressure in the visitors’ 22 saw full back Graeme Jeffrey power over wide on the right.

Harrison, who had taken over kicking duties from Ratcliffe, was unsuccessful with his touchline conversion attempt before Scarborough lost the services of skipper Watson with what subsequently proved to be a broken arm.

Scarborough cut out their earlier infringements at the breakdown and spent long periods in the Bridlington final third of the field. Bullocking charges from livewire prop Cutino, and breaks from Purdy, Blake Nightingale, Cottle, Jeffrey and Harrison should have produced bonus point-winning tries but steady defence and over eagerness conspired to keep the visitors’ line intact.

However Harrison stretched the lead to 16-3 in the 67th minute with a penalty and despite Scarborough’s efforts that is how it finished.