Thompson sparkles as Bridlington RUFC sink Cleckheaton

Otis Floyd in action for Bridlington RUFC at home to Cleckheaton
Otis Floyd in action for Bridlington RUFC at home to Cleckheaton

Bridlington returned from the festive break in style, recording a powerful home win against Cleckheaton in North One East.

The hosts also gained revenge after they had lost out in a close fixture in West Yorkshire earlier in the season.

Brid played against the cool breeze and were immediately defending their line as Cleck attacked.

Strong defence, which was a feature of the game, kept them out and when skipper Jamie Martin turned possession over, Gareth Roberts, Paddy Waines and Josh Thundercliffe took play to the halfway line.

Matiu Welch chipped to the corner and Jimmy Thompson won the line-out, before Jamie Martin broke.

Cleckheaton were caught offside and Stevie Mellonby kicked the points to make it 3-0.

From the kick-off Welch cleared and good interplay took them to the line, though Waines was held up.

From the scrum a super training-ground move saw newly-wed Gary Stevens scorch through to score a converted try to make the score 10-0 to the hosts after 25 minutes.

Cleckheaton spent the last 15 minutes of the first half with most of the possession, but excellent defence, with Otis Floyd, Roberts and Martin to the fore, kept the visitors out, and eventually Floyd who turned over possession.

Brid attacked strongly showing no after-effects of over-celebrating Stevens’ wedding day festivities and when Thompson won a lineout, Waines went close, as did the elusive Floyd.

Brid won the scrum and that led to the powerful Thompson scoring and making it 17-0.

Skipper Martin and centre partner Roberts both made powerful breaks to give Brid momentum and they went in 17 points to the good at the break.

Cleckheaton, now playing into the breeze, started the second half in determined fashion, though, after a long period of pressure, Bridlington eventually regained possession.

Frustratingly another missed touch-kick invited more pressure and this told as the Cleckheaton winger scored in the corner to trim the lead.

Brid desperately needed to re-group and hold onto the ball, but rushed or loose passes or kicks kept giving Cleckheaton more opportunities to attack.

Despite this, the home side’s defence was outstanding on the day and when they finally went through the phases Dewi Roberts benefited, burrowing over to score, with Mellonby converting superbly from the touchline for a 24-5 lead.

Cleckheaton never gave up but with all their possession they were rather predictable and Bridlington’s defence held firm.

Sizwe Zondo then won possession and Welch kicked long, but Stevens couldn’t quite win the race to the line, possibly tired from the night before.

Bridlington brought on the cavalry and Wiremu Cookson was straight in the action, but he knocked on and Cleckheaton attacked again.

Zondo, now in the centres as Alex Shipley had come on to replace the injured Gareth Roberts, made the tackle and a long kick from prop Thundercliffe saw Callam Sanderson chase from the ruck.

Dewi Roberts broke a fed Callum Cappleman who came on for Waines, and he scored the bonus-point try, making it 29-5

Brid saw the rest of the game out comfortably to collect a superb five-point win.

The home side’s defence was outstanding and they were clinical in try-scoring areas.

There were good performance from Zondo, who managed 80 minutes, the Roberts brothers, Sanderson and Floyd, though Thompson was named as the man of the match.

Bridlington now sit third in the North One East standings and Paul Cook’s troops make the lengthy trip north to tackle rivals Alnwick this weekend, attempting to avenge a close defeat at Dukes Park in September.

The Brid 2nd XV will play host to Grimsby on Saturday afternoon, while the 3rds will host Hull Ionians 3rds.

Both games kick off at 2.15pm.

This weekend’s Bridlington RUFC teams

1st XV v Alnwick (away). Meet clubhouse 8.30am coach, kick-off 2.15pm. Bus back by 9.30pm - Team to be selected tonight.

2nd XV v Grimsby (home). Meet clubhouse 12.45pm, 2.15pm kick-off. Team from: Reece Webb, Tom Bennett, Matty Faulkner, Conor Williamson, Mike Ridsdale, Tom Benninger, Billy Carter, Tom Harwood, Tom Brown, Tom Milnes, Sam Wragg, AJ Burrows, Rich Burrows, Michael Nugent, Scott Stevens, Liam Hughes, James Mooney, Marlon Robinson, Jacob Manson.

Development (3rds) XV v Hull Ionians 3rds (home). Meet clubhouse 12.45pm for 2.15pm kick-off. Team from: Eddie Morrell, Jack Wright, Jack Sanderson, Adam McTurk, Gowan, Harry Lingard, Anthony Smith, Jorden Forde, Ben Dean, Danny Cunningham, Max Towse, Jem Kutevu, Danny McKintosh, Matty Taylor, Daniel Kempton, Mike Ireland, James Cooke, James Cockerill, Jeremy Garnett.