Sanderson stars as 14-man Bridlington RUFC see off Northern

Bridlingtons Callam Sanderson, above tackling a rival last year, was the star man for his side in their 43-17 win at Northern in North One East on Saturday
Bridlingtons Callam Sanderson, above tackling a rival last year, was the star man for his side in their 43-17 win at Northern in North One East on Saturday

Bridlington RUFC claimed a 43-17 win at North One East basement club Northern on Saturday despite fielding a much-changed team due to injuries and unavailability.

The visitors made light of the absentees as they ran in six tries to three in an end-to-end game.

After all the snow in the North East in the week before the game, the pitch was in excellent condition and open rugby was able to be played.

Bridlington were the first to attack and Stevie Mellonby converted a penalty after only eight minutes.

The visiting forwards were using their driving maul to good effect and one such drive took them 40 metres, but unfortunately a loose pass gifted Northern a chance to counter and they scored against the run of play to lead 7-3 on 20 minutes.

Worse was to follow when Luke Thundercliffe was yellow carded for an alleged high tackle.

Northern now had the momentum and it was only thanks to an exellent strip of the ball by Will Davies that saved a certain try for the home team.

Brid, back to a full complement, attacked and Ryan Nepia scored in the corner, excellently converted by Mellonby.

The away side were now playing great rugby, and good field position gave them a line-out 20 metres out, Callam Sanderson went clean through and offloaded to Albert Thundercliffe who dummied his way over from 20 metres to make the half -time scoreline 15-7 to Bridlington.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were a battle in midfield with Brid too often only producing slow ruck ball and allowing Northern to disrupt their attacks, but when the away team did gain good ball Gary Stevens benefitted and scored, with Mellonby converting to put the Dukes Park club 22-7 clear and in the driving seat.

Luke Thundercliffe then was harshly given a second yellow by the referee and was subsequently sent off.

With Bridlington down to 14, Northern looked to press their advantage but good defence turned possession back in the away side’s favour and Davies was given room to beat two tacklers to score a try which was converted once again by Mellonby to earn Brid the bonus point at 29-7.

Brid then relaxed and Northern scored a try before Matiu Welch fielded a kick and gave Stevens some the space for his second try, once more converted by the excellent Mellonby to put the visitors 36-7 ahead.

The visiting team again relaxed and Northern hit back with two tries before Mellonby benefited from good interplay to score to give Brid the victory with an emphatic 43-17 scoreline.

This was a good display on the road with all Brid forwards contributing.

The scrum and line-out were excellent, perhaps the rucking could be improved, while Bridlington’s backs once again finished well.
Mellonby’s kicking was exemplary, and Sanderson had his best game of the season, gaining the man of match award for his efforts.

Bridlington host West Hartlepool this weekend, 2.15pm kick-off.

Bridlington 2nds suffered a 31-12 loss at Scunthorpe in the Yorkshire Merit League - Eastern League, and will hope to bounce back with a win at Hullensians 2nds this Saturday.

The Bridlington 3rds return to action at home to Hullensians 3rds on Saturday, 2.15pm ko.