Selby master conditions better than the hosts

Bridlington v Selby
Bridlington v Selby

Selby mastered the conditions better than their hosts to secure the points in their mid-table clash at Dukes Park.

With strong winds and driving rain battering the players for most of the match, no-one had turned up expecting a classic - which was just as well.

Bridlington had conditions in their favour for the opening 40 minutes, but needed to turn around with more than the one-point lead they had managed by the interval.

It was to cost them as they were camped in their own half for much of the second period, and although Selby were never able to put themselves out of sight, Bridlington’s inability to secure decent territory meant the visitors did not look in danger once they had got their noses in front.

The two teams were sitting in seventh and eighth spot in Yorkshire One at the start of the day, with Selby just one point ahead of their hosts in the standings.

Bridlington kicked off in the Arctic conditions and immediately put pressure on the Selby line. After a poor clearance, good forward play by the home side was eventually halted by a knock on.

The first penalty went to the visitors and led to a line out on the Bridlington 22, after which Bridlington won the ball and kicked through deep into the Selby half.

Bridlington claimed the Selby lineout but were then themselves penalised.

Surprisingly Selby chose to tap and run and play continued in the opposition half for some minutes to come. with Bridlington keeping possession but with no real scoring chances.

The closest Bridlington came to a score in the first quarter of an hour came when Tom Kemp’s kick sat up for Will Davies on the right wing, but he was unable to gather the ball cleanly with the try line beckoning.

Both Ali Sutton and Ntsikayomzi Daka apicked up early injuries but were able to continure and the Bridlington pack continued to press.

But their inability to fashion a score was punished in the harshest possible manner by Selby. They passed the halfway line for the first time and immediately got themselves on the scoresheet.

Flanker Taylor made a good drive in the centre of the pitch and offloaded to captain Porter who raced away 40 metres to touch down beside the posts.

Scrum-half Josh Cruise converted to give the visitors a 7-0 lead after 17 or so minutes.

After the restart, a Selby lineout infringement gave a scrum to Bridlington, which Selby ominously pushed back.

Bridlington were still able to attack from deep, getting the ball to the opposition 22 but then knocking on to spoil a promising move.

Both sides had been guilty of mistakes in the first half hour, not surprisingly given the conditions. The ground had begun to cut up badly to add to the problems.

Skipper Ryan Girking tried to give Bridlington momentum with an outstanding break which carried possession past halfway. Jamie Martin continued the attack and PJ Freeman advanced it further but another knock-on ended any hopes of a reply.

Davies was then inches away from making a vital interception which would have seen him with a clear run to the line.

Bridlington were now had their best period of the game, Daka and Mark Floyd made ground and when Selby were penalised, Kemp landed the penalty from in front of the posts.

Shortly afterwards, Bridlington took the lead.

Otis Floyd sold a lovely dummy to create himself some space and offloaded to Gareth Roberts to fended off a couple of tacklers and scored in the corner.

Kemp’s conversion fell short and Bridlington turned around 8-7 in front.

It could have been a bigger lead, but Jimmy Thompson was held up over the line and Daka was adjudged to have made a double movement.

In the first half Bridlington had enjoyed the best of the territory, with their forwards playing well in the open but with Selby looking menacing at the set scrum.

Disaster struck for Bridlington at the restart, with Thompson fumbling from the kickoff, which set up Selby for their first attack.

There was good Selby pressure from the resulting scrum and, although then first charge for the line was foiled by a good tackle, the ball was sent out the left and Winger Spemncer crossed the line, too wide out for Cruise to land the difficult conversion.

Bridlington gained a lineout after the restart which was lost, and after regaining possession after a penalty, forced the ball just over halfway, with a very high ball back from the Selby defence being taken safely.

As conditions deteriorated, play continued with more of it now being in the Bridlington half. Some good tidying up by Davies down the right wing, saw his kick deflecting off an opponent to give Bridlington the lineout.

Fractured play by both sides was punctuated by mistakes, with no real attacks, led to another high Selby kick and another safe gather and good kick to touch by the Bridlington defender.

Then came the turning point of the match. A penalty to Selby on the halfway line led to the kick of the match, as Cruise stretched the lead to 15-8. The kick magnificently struck in a howling gale and bounced off the crossbar to gain three points.

As the match moved towards the final 15 minutes, Selby intelligently continued employing the kicking game, sending Bridlington back into their own half several times, when they had worked hard to get the ball forward.

Players were now visibly becoming tired, but the hosts finally managed to lay the platform for an attack, but another handling error meant Porter was able to launch a massive kick downfield to touch to clear the danger.

Another penalty attempt was missed by Selby as the game drew to a close.

But 60 seconds later, Cruise landed an easier penalty to make the final score 8-18, depriving Bridlington of a losing bonus point.

Selby looked the more likely to add to their tally as backs and forwards combined to make 30 yards before Cruise a pass to end the move.

In a match in which the first half had probably gone to Bridlington, in the second 40 minutes Selby had outkicked and outscrummed the home side, who to their credit battled on to the final whistle.