A somewhat below-par Bridlington went down 13-16 to Malton and Norton, who have now overtaken the Dukes Park side and moved into second spot in Yorkshire One.
Derby games are expected to have plenty of spice in them and this game met all of those expectations. A hard and bruising, but totally fair, encounter with flashes of brilliance kept the large gathering fully entertained for the full 80 minutes.
The first half was clearly Malton’s. Their scrummaging was solid, pushing the Bridlington pack back, and their backs looked sharp. Bridlington’s defence was stretched, and they had to scramble to avoid penetration by the lively Malton attack.
Eventually, the Bridlington resistance snapped, and although Malton missed their first kick at goal, they soon had another chance.
Malton’s forwards made good progress into the Bridlington half, and a strong attack by their backs down the right wing was halted by a pass ruled forward.
Aggressive Bridlington defence, with a huge tackle by Jimmy Thompson, forced a knock on, on the halfway line. A big push at the resulting scrum, and a Bridlington foul, gave the visitors a second chance at goal and full back Zweli Sodladla calmly slotted home.
Immediately after the restart, some very slick passing gave Malton an ominously easy try.
Malton fielded the ball cleanly and quickly got things in motion from their own 22 metre area.
Good handling between Sodladla, Vus Dyantjies and Ben Woodhouse bamboozled the home defence and took them to the home 10-metre line where Woodhouse handed on to fly-half Nick Daley who opened his legs to touch down under the posts.
Sodladla converted and Malton had some breathing space.
At this stage Malton were looking the better of the two sides, dominant in the scrums and dangerous when their backs had the ball.
Bridlington had spent a lot of time defending in their own half, with no clear chances of scoring.
However, an opportunity for points for the home side came when a long clearing kick by Malton went dead, giving Bridlington a scrum back on the visitors’ 22.
This led to a penalty to Bridlington and a successful kick by Jack Arthur narrowed the deficit to 3-10.
There were no more scores No more scores in the first half, but Bridlington started the second half with a flourish.
Their best attack of the game, came immediately after the restart, with the Bridlington backs showing something of the form of previous games.
Several attackers linked up superbly to give Jamie Martin a well worked try in the corner, converted by Arthur to even the score at 10-10.
Two minutes later Brid took the lead. Malton were penalised for using their hands in a ruck and the penalty sailed between the posts to the delight of the home supporters.
Malton had to regroup.
As the second half continued, the match was more even, with neither side really dominating.
Some of the collisions were as bone-crunching as anyone could hope for, but Bridlington gave away too many penalties, interrupting the flow of their attack, and eventually they offered Malton a kick from in front of the posts for Sodladla to level the scores at 13-13.
Much of the play was in centre field as both sides battled for supremacy.
On the half-hour a good drive into the heart of the home defence and supported by the Malton forward produced another penalty and Sodladla duly obliged with a successful kick.
A further penalty to Malton, struck wide, gave Bridlington some hope.
A superb kick, after a penalty, gave Bridlington a lineout five metres from the opposition line in the dying seconds of the game.
Malton disrupted the throw and held the surge before making 10 yards to gain a line-out of their own, and the chance was gone as the final whistle blew.
In retrospect, Bridlington perhaps kicked possession away too much, and this, plus indiscipline that they seemed to have overcome this season, were too much against a strong side.