Bridlington RUFC 26
Scarborough RUFC 18
BRIDLINGTON went into Saturday’s local derby on the back of a few good wins but knew they were in for a tough afternoon against the league’s in-form team from up the coast.
With perfect playing conditions and a large crowd behind them Brid set about their task with early relish with both sides exchanging bone -crunching tackles in the first five minutes.
Despite Brid’s positive start it was the visitors who registered the first points of the match when Brid were penalised for an infringement around the ruck.
The Scarborough kicker stepped up and coolly slotted home the three points.
This sprung Brid into action and they were soon down the other end chalking up the first try of the day.
Good work from the Brid team including some ferocious rucking from the fired up home pack enabled Will Davies to release the backs with good quick ball.
Jamie Muru received the pass on the gallop and dummied to offload before gliding over the line. Stevie Mellonby converted to make the score 7-3 after 15 minutes.
The see-saw nature of the game continued apace when Scarborough came straight back down the pitch and back into the lead when centre Morete skipped around Bridlington’s player coach Kieran Lawry and through the home defence for the visitors’ first try, Jones converting for 7-10.
The game swung from end to end but Brid were beginning to get on top, dominating possession and out-muscling the visitors in the contact area.
Brid regained the lead on 24 minutes with a beautiful piece of skill, after a number of phases with Brid keeping the ball extremely well Muru looked up and delivered a pin point cross field kick of 50 metres, missing the clutching grasps of the Scarborough winger, instead being plucked out of the air by Gareth Roberts who crashed down for the try.
The lead changed hands for the fourth time in the game five minutes later when Brid infringed 30 metres out and Scarborough kicker Jones nudged the visitors 13-12 ahead.
The half wasn’t finished there though with Brid launching another series of attacks, pushing Scarborough back onto their line and looking for the score that would see them into the break.
It seemed as though this wasn’t going to be as Scarborough repelled the home side’s advances.
A penalty offered Brid the opportunity for three points but a quick tap penalty was fed through the middle to Lawry who crashed through two desperate tackles before getting stopped two metres out.
Using his years of experience he popped the ball up off the floor and into the supporting arms of Ali Sutton who crashed over for the try.
The conversion by Mellonby took Brid into the half time break with a slender 19-13 lead.
Bridlington took the game immediately to the visitors after the restart and were first to every breakdown, with it now becoming clear that the home side were in no mood to relinquish their near-exemplary home record.
The pressure soon told and the Scarborough defensive line encroached offside but the normally dependable Mellonby pulled his kick wide.
This offered Scarborough a glimmer of hope which they soon hammered home after a good catch and drive from a line out was eventually collapsed illegally by the Brid forwards. The resulting penalty was kicked into touch 5 metres out from the home line and from the resulting line-out the excellent Scarborough flanker Louis Karl crashed over to take the scores to within one point.
Paddy Waines left the fray and was replaced by Micky Edmonds, followed by Ben Johnson who was replaced by Ryan Kerr.
Both sides were now going at each other hammer and tong but it still seemed like Brid would come out on top as they were winning the majority of the breakdowns and had significantly better ball retention.
It looked as though a kick might clinch the win going into the last 10 minutes but it was fitting that two of the best players on the day were at the heart of the winning score.
With Scarborough awarded a scrum on their 22 metre line after some intense Brid pressure it seemed they would easily win the scrum and clear their lines but a huge effort and powerful drive from the smaller Brid pack coupled with a magnificent steal against the head from hooker Daniel Perkin saw the ball come back the Brid side.
Brid number 8 Jimmy Baloyi pouncing on this hard fought opportunity to skilfully pick the ball up at the base of the scrum and dart through a series of desperate lunging tacklers for the winning try.
To their credit Scarborough gave it their all in the closing minutes to try and salvage the match but Brid’s strong defence remained intact and they closed out the game to secure a momentous bonus point win that also meant they had completed the double over their closest rivals.
This was a perfect result from a team that has learnt how to dig deep and really pull together. Hopefully this will continue against York at the weekend and see Brid climb back up the table to a more respectable position where they belong.