The Mariners travelled to Pocklington 2nds on Saturday with a mixture of regular players and a sprinkling of third team players and although beaten 48-24, they came away with a lot of credit and many positives.
The home side play in two merit leagues above the Mariners and in the first period showed the level of intensity that they regularly play at. For the first 10 minutes they were camped deep in the Mariners half and it was inevitable that they would open the scoring.
The Mariners were giving away far too many penalties and in doing so allowed the home side to total dictate play and keep the pressure on the visitors. Pocklington extended their lead with a penalty kick and then three more unanswered tries to effectively end any chances the Mariners had of a victory.
However, having weathered the early quarter storm the Mariners started to at least contain the home side and exert a little bit of pressure of their own. The Mariners ended the half strongly working their way into the Pocklington half and deservedly got on to the score sheet with a try from returning prop Louis Cunliffe. Half time 29-5.
In the half time team talk the message was to not show the opposition too much respect, match them for intensity and try to win the second period which they almost achieved.
The second period didn’t start well for the Mariners as they conceded a try in the first 10 minutes of the restart but gradually the visitors started to gain a measure of control of the game.
The Mariners added to their score with a well taken try by centre Rob Medforth who finished off a move featuring a number of Bridlington players, Scrum half Ben Wollerton added the conversion.
The home side replied with a try of their own slightly against play but the Mariners were now on top. Bridlington scored another great try, this time second row Arran Baker on the end of a passage of play that featured great running by both backs and forwards. Unfortunately Wolleton was wide of the mark with the difficult conversion.
The home side continued to pose a treat and added a further converted try. The Mariners completed the scoring through full back Matty Taylor who did well to force his way over with two tacklers stopping him on the line but again the score came from more great running and off loading by a number of Mariners. Wollerton hit a superb conversion for a final score of 48-24.
Both sides scored 19 points in the second period and considering the home side were well ahead at half time this reflected the great endeavour the Mariners put into the second half.
It also proved that the Mariners gave the home side far too much respect in the first period and that if they want to compete at this higher level they must be prepared to work as hard as the home side did in both attack and defence.
There were many great displays in the Mariners ranks Dan Palmer, Baker, Cunliffe and Andy McNulty in the forwards, Wollerton, Ben Dean, Michael Nugent, Medforth and captain Tom Brown in the backs.
The third team players who came into the side didn’t look out of place and indeed man of the macth went to full back Taylor.
The Mariners return to league action next week in a vital home fixture against third place Hullensians which might be repeated if the teams stay as they are in the first round of the play-offs.