New Year, same form

Regan Stirk storms down the right wing to score
Regan Stirk storms down the right wing to score

Bridlington 34

North Ribblesdale 3

Yorkshire Division One

BRIDLINGTON were at home to North Ribblesdale, the only team to have beaten them away from home.

It was quite a warm day, with a strong swirling wind, making conditions difficult for the kickers; the pitch was the muddiest it had been all season.

North Ribblesdale started the match by kicking deep into Bridlington’s 22 metre area. This was secured by the forwards, who wasted no time in releasing the back line to attack the visitors, the onslaught had begun.

Bridlington attacked the visitors repeatedly, their efforts being thwarted, by either great tackling from the visitors or the referee.

North Ribblesdale had no answer to the ever advancing home side, except to kick up field whenever they had the opportunity.

One of these long kicks was collected by Sizwe Zondo on the half way line, he ran the ball back at pace, releasing AJ Burrows, for a run at the visitors, with the forwards in support, driving well and keeping possession.

Scrum half Stevie Mellonby took a chance, ran around the winger, then tip toed down the touch line, dragging two would be tacklers over the try line with him as he dived to score the first try of the match.

North Ribblesdale restarted deep again, collected by Morgan Kinnaird, who fed Jamie Muru to clear their lines. The visitors again resorted to kicking the ball, Bridlington decided to attack again, through the back line.

Director of rugby, Kieran Lawry pointed out that, this had been by far the best opening 10 minutes the team had played all season,

The home forwards made progress up the park, with some great running from Adam Dixon and Daniel Perkin, but eventually an error was made when the ball was kicked out on the full, the visitors had a chance to attack, they enjoyed some good passages of play, completing multiple phases, but with them gaining ground slowly, they decided to go back to kicking.

Burrows caught a kick on his own 40 metre line, and decided to run it back with the forwards in close attendance, taking over the responsibility and driving up field through Wiremu Cookson, Mark Oliver and Ali Sutton.

Winning a penalty, Muru kicked this for a five metre lineout. The forwards caught this driving at the visitors try line, but were awarded a five metre scrum.

With the scrum won the ball was passed along the back line, for AJ Burrows to score a converted try out by the corner flag.

North Ribblesdale attacked with menace from the restart making ground, aided by a couple of penalties which Bridlington conceded, this gave them the opportunity to kick at goal.

Bridlington restarted short to the 40 metre line, the visitors caught and returned this, but that was the last they saw of the ball for a while, as the home side again pounded the visitors.

Once again after quick hands by the back line, Regan Stirk was over the line to score again out by the flag. North Ribblesdale spent the rest of the first half only making it as far as the home side’s 40 metre line, before either losing the ball or being penalised by the referee.

Bridlington started the second half as they ended the first, kicking high and deep into the visitors’ 22 metre area, chased by Tom Kemp and Gareth Roberts, pinning the visitors down.

North Ribblesdale found themselves again using the boot, this time to their advantage as the ball bounced backwards as it landed into the arms of the chasing pack.

The forwards kept the ball to themselves progressing up field, but following some great tackling by Muru, Zondo and Roberts, Bridlington’s pack managed to turn over the ball.

Quick thinking by Muru saw the ball spun through the backs, halted momentarily as they reached the visitors’ 22. There was great running by firstly Cookson, then Kinnaird who was stopped inches from the line, James Thompson saw his chance and dived over from a metre out to score.

North Ribblesdale were still not done, they made an aggressive restart, driving up field using both backs and forwards.

Bridlington had two men yellow carded for handling in the ruck only a few minutes apart, and found themselves two men down, but they defended as though they had two men extra, every attack was thwarted, they even made a few breaks themselves, but lost out due to the lack of players.

The visitors attacked well, driving to within a metre of the try line but were stopped by great tackling by the returning Paddy Waines, then as they dived over the line to score, Ali Sutton threw himself beneath the player, preventing him from grounding the ball.

The visitors then tried to use the backs, but they only managed to swap the ball from one side of the park to the other.

Bridlington had weathered the storm, progressing up field with the help of a couple of penalties.

The forwards set up a good base, Kemp chipped over the rushing defence, gathered by Gareth Roberts who went over untouched for a try just to the right of the uprights, converted by Stirk.

North Ribblesdale’s restart went straight to Waines on his 40 metre line, and he ran at the defence.

Quick ball saw Ryan Girking having a good run, a pick and go from Sutton and Bridlington were off again, a welcome penalty saw Stirk putting the ball into touch 5 metres from the try line.

Kemp and Mellonby tried their luck, but it was time for the forwards to be rewarded, as Mark Oliver found himself enough space to dive over for a try, following the missed conversion attempt, the referee ended the game.

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