‘I honestly believed we had a chance’

Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12
Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12

Bridlington’s director of rugby Rich Girking said he was confident his underdogs had a chance of causing an upset in the Yorkshire Shield semi-final.

Malton and Norton arrived at Dukes Park as the firm favourites, lying second in the Yorkshire One table with only three defeats all season.

Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12

Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12

But Girking’s confidence was well founded and his troops recorded a 20-12 win.

Girking said: “I honestly believed we had a chance and we thoroughly deserved the result. There was no luck involved whatsoever.

“The lads had a really good training session last Thursday and you could sense something was going to happen. We spoke about what we could achieve if we got parity with their forwards.

“The lineout was a pretty even battle but we got on top in the scrums and put them on the back foot.

Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12

Bridlington 20 Malton and Norton 12

“Their centre caused us a lot of problems but in the breakdown area we were really good. They weren’t able to get quick ball and we turned them over several times.

“Our defence was fantastic and we put them under pressure, scoring two good tries in the first half.

“In the second half, when we were under pressure we didn’t panic and kept possession and controlled parts of the game.

“When everybody in the team plays well, it goes to show what we can achieve by pulling in the same direction.

“It was a really good game and we haqd a thoroughly good night in the clubhouse afterwards.

“Malton had beaten us 43-0 earlier in the season and that is the only time we have been hammered. They had got on top in the forwards and we knew that was the area we had to step up in.

“I have been involved in three Yorkshire Shield finals, one as a player and two on the coaching side. This will be my fourth and I haven’t lost one yet.

“I remember beating Driffield at Scarborough in about 1986 and then I coached in 2005 when we beat Bradford Salem at Pontefract and I was part of the coaching staff at Hull when we beat Selby.

“Although we don’t know who we will play yet, I think Bradford Salem will take some stopping in the other half of the draw.
“The other issue is that the final is not until May 10, three weks after our league season finishes so we will have to check who is still available that weekend.”