Bridlington Mariners travelled to Hull Ionians Ramblers on Saturday with quite a few changes to the side but came away with a comfortable victory.
The Mariners had lost Jack Bell and Grant Chaplin to injury, Matty Faulkner stepped up to the first team and Michael Nugent was unavailable.
The home side had a wealth of experience and a few impressive young players and indeed it was the Ramblers who took first blood. The Mariners gave away a few early penalties and, with one in front of the posts, the Ramblers kicked themselves into a 3-0 lead.
Having come to terms with the way the referee was going to interpret the laws, the Mariners took control of the game. The visitors started to camp in the home side’s half and through their forwards created some pressure.
A great drive from second row Mark Shackley, bursting on to the ball and charging 20 metres, took the Mariners within five metres of the Ramblers’ line. The ball was worked along the line and back row Gary Heeley scored a good try out wide. Scrum half Taylah Muru-King hit a well struck conversion.
The next 20 minutes saw the Mariners working hard to gain good field position only to give away penalties and the home side worked the ball back down the field. However, the advantage the Mariners had over the Ramblers was such that the home side too were giving away penalties and from one of these Muru-King added a penalty.
Near to the end of the half, and against the run of play, the home side came right back on terms when on one of the few times they were in the Brid half they scored a converted try which might have been avoided had the Mariners defended better. Half time 10-10.
The Mariners started the second half well and regained the lead when again Muru-King hit a good penalty. Moments later a good move involving both forwards and backs saw Shackley go over the line but the referee found an offence and brought he play back for a Ramblers scrum.
The Ramblers worked the ball back into the Brid half but then the Mariners won the ball back. The ball was moved out to wing Nigel Cloherty who raced 50 metres to score under the posts. Muru-King’s conversion gave the Mariners breathing space at 20-10.
Half backs Muru-King and his dad and Jamie Muru then took control of the game with some excellent kicking to put the Mariners deep in the opposition half. From one of these promising positions Shackley looked like he had finally got his deserved try but the referee adjudged that he was held up over the line.
The Ramblers continued to work hard and had moved the ball deep into the Mariners half. At a break down the ball ran loose and centre Rob Medforth hacked on. It then became a foot race to see who could get to the ball quickest and although he got close to scoring, the Ramblers full back just managed to force the ball into touch.
Minutes later the Mariners did get their try when from a maul, the ball was moved left and scrum half Muru-King raced over for an unconverted try. The Mariners continued to hold the upper hand and with 10 minutes to go Jamie Muru fashioned a great try for debutant Mathew Stubbs with an exquisite cross field kick which the winger gathered and raced over in the corner.
This was a disciplined performance by the Mariners with some good performances. The guys who came in at the last minute performed well.
Mick Ireland at prop, Jarrod Castle at back row and Stubbs, with his try late on, stepped up. In the forwards the second row Shackley and Arran Baker stood out as did centre Rob Medforth and full back Ben Wollerton but man of the match went to prop Jayson Stephenson.
Next week,n the Mariners are at home in the league against Scunthorpe.