Bridlington ended a protracted drought on the road winning their first away game since September with a terrific performance in the Yorkshire Challenge Shield, running in six tries in beating Scarborough 36-22 at Silver Royd.
Playing into a stiff northerly wind Bridlington fell 3-0 behind in the 5th minute when Scarborough fly-half Tom Harrison kicked a long-range penalty from the visitors’ 10 metre line.
Scarborough had a fair bit of early pressure but couldn’t dent a solid Bridlington defence and when some great work by number eight James Thompson and his back row colleagues took play deep into Scarborough territory, fly-half Tom Kemp kicked the equalizing penalty when Scarborough number eight Matthew Else infringed and was yellow carded in the 15th minute.
With the wind behind them Scarborough’s tactic was to kick deep and turn the visitors’ back three, however full back Gareth Roberts and wingmen Gary Stevens and Will Davies were up to the task and when Bridlington won ball on halfway wide on the left, swift hands sent Davies scampering in to nudge the visitors’ 8-3 ahead in the 19th minute.
Kemp failed to convert into the prevailing gale.
The men from Silver Royd pegged the score back to 8-6 almost immediately with a further long distance Harrison penalty in the 21st minute.
Bridlington however looked the sharper of the two sides particularly at the breakdown and it was no surprise that following a short period of pressure on the home line prop Ntsekayomzi Daka barged over from close range in the 31st minute to stretch the visitors’ lead to 13-6.
Scarborough attempted to use the wind to their advantage and continued to kick down the throats of the Bridlington defence and centres Jamie Martin and Ryan Girking, prop Daka and Thompson gave the home defensive line plenty of work to do.
Harrison reduced the arrears to four points at 13-9 with a 34th minute penalty but following slick work in the visitors’ midfield, Roberts, up in support, powered over for Bridlington’s third try of the half and an 18-9 lead in the 39th minute.
Harrison kicked his fourth penalty of the half a minute later to see the men from Dukes Park go to the break 18-12 ahead.
Kicking off the second half with the wind behind them Bridlington made early inroads but Scarborough looked much livelier than in the first 40 minutes. But following a Harrison penalty miss the Silver Royd side made a mess of promising possession on halfway and a Bridlington boot intervened to hack towards the Scarborough line.
Full back Corey Dennis and winger Joe Marshall looked uncertain as they ran back to cover and Davies nipped in between them to get the touch for 23-12 in the 52nd minute. And although Kemp missed the conversion, his penalty four minutes later stretched the Bridlington lead to 26-12.
Scarborough got their driving game going and made a contest of it in the fourth quarter and from a scrum just inside the visitors’ 22, clean ball was moved left and centre Graeme Jeffrey powered over for his side’s first try of the afternoon to reduce the arrears to nine points at 26-17 in the 62nd minute.
A third Kemp penalty stretched the lead to 29-17 in the 70th minute. Scarborough never threw the towel in and reduced the arrears with five minutes to go when a blistering run from full back Dennis released winger Marshall to score wide on the right.
But Bridlington clinched the game in injury time when Scarborough made a hash of a 22 re-start following a missed penalty by Kemp. Bridlington regained possession and centre Girking went over to the left of the uprights and Kemp added the extras to seal an emphatic win.