Dinnington RUFC 7
Bridlington RUFC 11
BRIDLINGTON travelled to bottom side Dinnington on Saturday knowing a physical and demanding encounter was in prospect in one of just three games not cancelled due to the hard frost.
It was a bitterly cold day, with a low sun, combining to make it quite difficult playing conditions.
The top surface of the pitch had some give but not much, just enough for the game to continue.
Bridlington won the toss and decided to play down the steep sloping pitch to try and gain a first-half advantage.
Bridlington had an uncharacteristically poor start to the game, knocking the ball forward from the kick off, then a few seconds later, conceding a penalty at the engagement of the scrum.
This was taken quickly by the home forwards, driving at the visitors with everything they had.
Bridlington’s defence was tested to the full, but as usual they held firm, great tackles made by each and every player, soaking up the immense pressure they were under.
Eventually, five metres from the try line, the forwards driving hard, counter rucked and turned the ball over.
Stevie Mellonby was able to clear his line with a kick up the park. This led to two Dinnington players running into each other as they both tried to catch the ball, only knocking it on in the process.
With the scrum won, a great kick from Tom Kemp up to the half way line was chased by the Brid backs before winning a penalty.
Ali Sutton saw his chance, taking it quickly, he punched a hole through the defence, and then once recycled Kieran Lawry also broke the defence with a great run, offloading to James Thompson.
A chip by Kemp for Sizwe Zondo saw the visitors up to the opposition 22 metre line.
Dinnington then resorted to swinging arms and stamping which was not picked up by the referee and continued for the remainder of the game.
The Dinnington try line was under attack from the visitors for most of the first half, with the home side managing a couple of times to break out as far as Bridlington’s 40 metre line, where they decided to have an attempt at goal.
Following this failed attempt, and a great 22 drop out kick by Kemp, they were back under pressure.
After strong running from Daniel Perkin, Paddy Waines and Wiremu Cookson, Bridlington eventually were awarded a penalty 40 metres out, Regan Stirk stepping up and successfully converting the attempt to put the visitors into the lead 3-0.
Bridlington then endured some offensive play by the home side for a few minutes before the referee ended the half following a good kick to touch from Lawry.
The half time break was greeted with disappointment by the visitors and a satisfaction at a job half done by the home side.
Bridlington kicked off the second half deep into the Dinnington 22, which they kicked upfield going into touch off a Bridlington player as he tried to keep the ball in play.
Once again a poor throw in by the home team led to a scrum to Bridlington where Thompson again picked up from the base and made hard yards before feeding Mellonby to kick into touch at Dinnington’s 40 metre line.
With the lineout won by kiwi Thompson, the ball was passed quickly to Waines standing in the back line who burst through the defence before the forwards recycled the ball quickly and fed Lawry who himself broke through the line, offloading to A.J. Burrows who made a great run stopping just short of the opposition 22.
With their now trademark quickly recycled ball Mellonby again passed to the backs for Zondo to put in a cross field kick, collected by Regan Stirk, who gathered and ran in for a brilliantly worked unconverted try.
It wasn’t long before Bridlington were in control again following another poor home line out.
The ball was picked up from the base of the resulting scrum by Thompson and fed to Kemp who chipped over for Lawry to chase and collect, winning a penalty in the process.
The visitors made their way up field again despite being knocked back a couple of times by the physical Dinnington defence.
Cookson then won yet another good line out five metres out from the home try line and was powered over by his pack only for the referee to give a scrum to Dinnington as the ball was adjudged to have been lost forward.
The home side then knocked the ball on themselves as the number eight attempted to pick up at the base of the scrum under good pressure from Mellonby.
Another great drive by the Bridlington pack was picked up by Thompson who won a penalty for Brid as he drove for the line.
The visitors called up Stirk to successfully convert the penalty, further increasing their lead.
Dinnington then made their way up the park aided by a couple of penalties, and following another penalty they released the backs with good quick hands until the winger was put away running at the visitors try line.
A try seemed inevitable until he was somehow stopped a metre short of the try line by some great tackling in the backs. The home forwards then attacked from five metres out, time and again without any result, and so released the backs again.
Dinnington’s big centre trying his luck at crashing through the Bridlington defence only to be thwarted by Mellonby putting in a big tackle two metres from the line.
Bridlington were then reduced to 14 men as an injury to prop Danny Palmer meant that they had to go uncontested in the scrum with little more than five minutes remaining on the clock.
A couple of good phases by the home side saw them pressure the Brid line only for the visitors to ease the pressure.
This was only a short respite as the ball was caught by the winger who attacked, linking with his forwards in the process and only being stopped by some great defensive tackles by Zondo and Cookson.
Dinnington were now realising they were facing defeat and threw every last ounce of energy at the final couple of minutes and after their forwards drove over and secured quick ball the powerful home number six picked up and drove over for the Brid line for a converted try.
Their comeback was short lived as the referee ended the game immediately after the restart and yet another gritty away performance was greated with celebration by the Bridlington side.
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