Struggling Acklam give Bridlington a tough test

Bridlington 31 Acklam 16
Bridlington 31 Acklam 16

Bridlington welcomed bottom-of-the-league Acklam on Saturday, but weren’t fooled by their position.

The visitors arrived with the ability to pull off an upset, and after taking the lead in the first half with three well-kicked penalties, Bridlington had to dig in and defend.

Acklam started the game off, kicking long into Bridlington’s 22, where Martin Robinson was able to gather and run the ball out. The forwards drove over but knocked the ball on in the process, giving an early attacking scrum to Acklam.

Robinson was again on hand, as he stopped the number eight peeling off the back of the scrum and Acklam were forced backwards.

Another Acklam scrum a minute later, saw them decide to kick ahead, Stevie Mellonby gathered and returned the kick with interest. It was chased by Ryan Kerr, who was able to hack the ball on, diving on it for the first try of the match, successfully converted by Mellonby.

Acklam defend well for a while as Bridlington threw everything at them, until the home side gave away a penalty, for pushing early at a scrum.

Acklam kicked long to clear, but Robinson was able to grasp the ball, keeping it in play, for Regan Stirk to run down the touchline, but a kick ahead by him was grounded by the visitors’ full back for a drop out.

The away side then progressed up the park with good attacking play, winning a penalty as the home side drifted offside at a ruck, which Acklam kicked successfully at goal.

Acklam continued the pressure from the restart, and then as they reached halfway, Bridlington counter rucked well, but this started a scuffle between the players. The result of this was the referee showing two yellow cards, one for each side, and a penalty to Acklam.

From here they again pressed the Bridlington defence, culminating in another penalty in range of the posts, which they gladly took, to put them within one point.

It wasn’t long before the visitors were again awarded a penalty in range, following a kick downfield, and it was successfully kicked again by winger Grainger to give the North East side the lead.

Bridlington kicked long from the restart, chased and gathered by Gary Stevens, and the forwards secured the ball for Micky Edmond to make good ground with a run.

There was quick ball for the backs, as they broke through the defensive line, for Ryan Girking to score a converted try.

Bridlington continued to pressure the visitors’ defence, for the rest of the half, but were stopped just five metres short of the line.

Bridlington started the second half as they finished the first, pounding the visitors’ defence. From a penalty given to them 10 metres from the line, Bridlington opted for the scrum, pushing Acklam back over the line, Michael Ridsdale expertly controlling the ball, to win another penalty.

The forwards were determined to score so opted again for the scrum, again pushing over the line, only to be denied again. They won another penalty, but again they drove a scrum over the line, and Acklam’s flanker diving on the ball while still in the scrum, gave the referee no option but to award a penalty try, successfully converted by Mellonby.

Bridlington showed their dominance as they moved again and again up field, but a long pass was anticipated by Acklam’s full back, who intercepted the ball and ran in for converted try from the halfway line.

The home side picked themselves up, with some good play again and a long kick ahead by Jamie Muru was chased and gathered by Stevens who was able to cross the line for a try.

Both sides then battled midfield for a long period, with Bridlington getting the upper hand.

From another chip ahead by Muru, Stevens was again on hand to gather and score a converted try, the referee ending the game following the conversion.

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