Keeping up the pressure

Action from the Bridlington v Keighley match
Action from the Bridlington v Keighley match

Bridlington RUFC 19

Keighley RUFC 11

BRIDLINGTON entertained Keighley on Saturday. The weather was quite warm for the time of year, and good for an expansive game of rugby.

Bridlington kicked off the match deep to Keighley, whose forwards managed to gather the ball, and secure it for their backs, but following some good work by the home forwards, the visitors didn’t take long to concede a penalty, for handling in the ruck just outside the 22.

Jamie Muru was called, and successfully converted putting the home side in front with only a couple of minutes on the clock.

Keighley then tried the same tactic from the restart, kicking deep into the Bridlington defence, but this was collected by captain Mark Oliver, who ran the ball out, supported by Daniel Perkin, they set the ball back for Muru to put up a high ball.

Keighley secured this and drove back at the home side through their forwards, forcing Bridlington to concede a penalty, which they took quickly feeding the backs.

Unfortunately for them, Ryan Kerr intercepted a pass, and with the aid of the forwards they drove the ball back at the visitors.

The ball passed out to AJ Burrows who got the home team up to the visitors’ 40 metre line, where the forwards took charge, with some good play by Rob Medforth and Perkin.

Finally they released the backs, with quick hands and straight running until Keighley stopped Sizwe Zondo five metres from the try line.

Martin Robinson picked from the back and attacked the Keighley defence but was stopped a metre short.

Keighley managed to turn the ball over and forced their way out using the forwards as far as the 40 metre line, where the referee decided to award them a penalty.

This was short lived advantage as it wasn’t long before they themselves conceded a penalty on the Bridlington 22, which Muru cleared back to the visitors’ half.

Both teams enjoyed some forward momentum, with neither team being able to convert their efforts into points.

Some good running by Gary Heeley and Medforth saw the ball passed to Muru who chipped the defence for Kerr to collect, only to be stopped 10 metres short of the try line.

The visitors again illegally turned the ball over, this time however, the referee showed the Keighley prop the yellow card, Up came Muru again, securing another shot on goal.

Both teams then had some good running by their backs, then with a pass to Muru who had no time to react, Mark Floyd grabbed him and they drove at the opposition pack, following more illegal handling by the visitors, another penalty was awarded to Bridlington.

Muru successfully converted again and although the home side had multiple attempts to cross the Keighley line, throughout the rest of the half, it was 9-0 at the break..

Keighley started the second half well, applying loads of pressure on the home side, moving slowly up the park until they were in range, of a drop goal attempt, which they converted successfully.

Not to be out done, Bridlington returned the favour marching up field, as they reached the visitors 40 metre line they were awarded a penalty, Muru successfully converted.

Keighley had to endure yet more Bridlington pressure, eventually Heeley broke free, but was stopped eight metres short.

After more good work by the home pack, the ball fed to Kieran Lawry who also got close to the try line. But Keighley’s defence seemed solid and they cleared their lines, deep in to the Bridlington half.

Full back Zondo chased back to recover the ball, kicking long but keeping the ball in play. The Bridlington pack piled into the ruck to secure the ball but conceded a penalty, and following some back chat to the referee, he further penalised them by marching 10 metres up field.

It wasn’t long before Bridlington again had the upper hand, making ground through the backs up to the visitors 22.

Keighley were awarded a penalty just inside their 22, which they elected to take quickly, Bridlington turned them over, and broke out with James Thompson, making an individual effort brushing aside would-be tacklers to score a try to the right of the posts.

The remainder of the half saw the visitors give it all they had as they made their way upfield, seeing each effort they attempted thwarted by the home side.

Eventually though, and deep into injury time, they made good progress through their backs sending the winger over for a try out by the corner flag.

Following the unsuccessful conversion attempt, the referee ended the game.

Club sponsors: North Bay Caravan Park and Hudson Contract Services

LAWRY’S LATEST: The views of director of rugby Kieran Lawry

“THINGS are really starting to click into gear at the moment and despite us producing one of our worst performances of the season we still managed a comfortable win against one of the pre-season favourites.

“We showed Keighley far too much respect on Saturday which allowed them to control the game and slow things down to their level.

“With a real lack of quick clean ball we found it tough going against a strong and well organised defence who were extremely physical.

“Despite this being our hardest test so far we still came through and the pleasing thing is that our wobbly early season defence seems to have improved.

“We welcomed two of our new Kiwi lads into the squad and both Morgan and James got plenty of game time with both of them performing well and certainly making a mark.

“The pack played well again despite giving away a sizeable weight advantage to the opposition but unfortunately the wasteful nature of our otherwise clinical back line saw at least three easy tries go begging.

“This will cost us in future games so this is clearly an area we need to work on and improve.

“Our back row were once again in imperious form working well as a unit, whilst Michael Ridsdale and Mark Floyd both put in some hard graft considering their age.

“Daniel Perkin really stood out above the rest, not only for the size of his huge head but also for his top class performance, even managing to throw straight into the line out on at least three separate occasions.

“What made his man of the match accolade all the more special was receiving the award off his very ‘special’ friend and club vice captain Ali Sutton who was visibly touched with the moment.

“In the backs Sizwe Zondo once again showed his great footwork to constantly get out of trouble and clear up at the back, while Jamie Muru controlled the game with all his experience and composure.

“One thing is for sure that this Saturday will be our hardest match of the season so far against a very strong Ilkley side.

“We will travel there however full of confidence, knowing a win will help consolidate our position near the top of the table.”