Bridlington RUFC grab last-gasp win in West Leeds opener

Dan Robinson clears Bridlington's line
Dan Robinson clears Bridlington's line

Bridlington RUFC made a winning start to life in North One East edging past visitors West Leeds by a 28-26 scoreline, battling back from 14-0 down.

The first 20 minutes were played mostly in the Brid half as West Leeds used their slick backs to probe at the home defence, new captain Jamie Martin and Ryan Girking and Will Davies made telling tackles before a long period of continuous attacks saw West Leeds cross in the corner for a converted try to lead 7-0.

Brid came back strongly as Wiremu Cookson, Josh Thundercliffe and Gary Heeley made ground but an infringement by Dewi Roberts saw him sin-binned and West ran the full length from the penalty, only a desperate tackle by Otis Floyd saved the day.

West Leeds were harassing the hosts into errors and from a turnover they moved the ball wide and scored in the corner, 14-0, and Brid needed inspiration from somewhere.

Roberts came back onto the field and he, Cookson and Waines gave Brid well needed field position, the visitors were penalised, from the kick to the corner Girking made ground, but again Brid lost the breakdown and Leeds cleared.

Brid attacked again and Robinson made a sublime break to the 22 before handing on to Waines to score, converted by Stevie Mellonby to pull it back to 14-7 after 26 minutes.

Brid failed to clear their lines from the kick-off and were again penalised at the breakdown and Leeds’ backs continued to cause Brid problems but scrambling defence kept them out.

A super kick from Dan Robinson and strong runs from Callam Sanderson and Roberts put Leeds under pressure and a poor kick gave Girking and Gary Stevens space but as a try looked certain Brid again lost possession.

Leeds started the second half with another turnover of the ball and after a clever kick their speedy winger claimed an easy try, but the conversion was missed and this proved vital.

Brid needed to up there game, and Martin led by example, making ground and as Thundercliffe appeared to have scored the ref was unsighted, but from the penalty Brid drove and Gary Heeley scored, Mellonby converting from wide out to make it 19-14.

Brid were looked stronger now and Cookson, Sanderson and Roberts were running hard and but another knock on allowed Leeds to clear.

Waines came off and Oliver Stephenson gave Brid fresh legs.

The hosts’ line-out was a good source of possession with James Thompson and Cookson taking a good ball, Martin broke and Robinson danced through again before feeding Heeley to score wide out and Mellonby converted superbly to give Brid a 21-19 lead.

Brid cleared well from the kick-off but a super break by Leeds stretched the hosts and the away side’s pressure told and they scored near the posts to lead 26-21 and set up a nailbiting final 10 minutes. Gareth Roberts came in for Davies and Chris Young also came on.

Sanderson again made ground and a deft kick by Robinson produced a try but the ref saw an infringement and struck it off.

A thrust from the impressive Cookson was taken on by the equally impressive Roberts, which allowed Robinson the time to dance to the line and level the scores.

Man of the match Mellonby, whose kicking was superb, stole a home win with the conversion and left Leeds deflated and Brid ecstatic.

There are areas of Brid’s game that the coaches need to look at seriously if they are to beat Driffield at home this weekend.