Visitors show class as they clinch league title

Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57
Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57
  • Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57
  • Hosts got to within one point just before half-time
  • Doncaster have won all 23 league games so far

Doncaster Phoenix wrapped up the Yorkshire One league title, proving to be a strong for a valiant home side at Dukes Park.

Bridlington never gave up, and scored a couple of fine tries, but after early scores by the visitors, the hosts never really looked like winning.

After the Bridlington kick off, a few phases in their own half and penalty against Bridlington for a ruck infringement saw Doncaster in possession on the Bridlington 22.

Quick handling after a maul saw a try under the posts, duly converted, to give a lead of 7-0 after only four minutes play.

The next few minutes saw both sides sharing possession, with a good scrum to Doncaster followed shortly after by a second with the Bridlington pack doing better.

Pressure by Doncaster forced Bridlington to defend deep into their own half, and a scrum and a rescrum, quickly switched to the backs, saw a second opposition try, hich was again converted.

Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57

Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57

With most of the possession, and showing strong running and handling skills, Doncaster were a real handful.

As the first quarter drew to close, the only real Bridlington attack came as Will Davies appeared to be away after some loose play, but was called back for a scrum. In the ensuing play Bridlington turned the ball over and a great kick by Jack Arthur took them deep into the opposition 22. Further pressure forced a penalty, and Arthur was able to reduce the deficit to 14-3.

At the restart, a Doncaster lineout and an ambitious pass saw good anticipation by Davies, and he scored a try to reduce the arrears to just four points. Maybe there was hope for Bridlington.

Immediately after the restart, with the visitors caught offside, Arthur kicked a superb goal from just inside the Phoenix half to leave a one-point difference.

Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57

Bridlington 18 Doncaster Phoenix 57

However, as half-time approached, Doncaster once again had the better of the ground, pinning the home team into their own half, and once again the pattern of good scrum, quick ball out and forceful direct running made their third converted try, converted to leave the score at half time at 21-13.

The second half was mostly Doncaster, with Bridlington tiring after a stiff test in the previous 40 minutes. Two minutes in and the score was stretched after the ball had been swung to the right after a scrum.

With frightening speed, opposition possession against the head, quick ball to the left wing and a try in the corner, gave Doncaster lead of 33-13 after eight minutes of the second half.

Soon afterwards, following a penalty for talking back, the Bridlington defence was caught too flat, and a good run brought another try under the posts, with a simple conversion, and a similar try after 17 minutes of the half, this time with the winger clear to score wider out, made it 45-13.

Bridlington were again camped on their own goal line, with PJ Freeman yellow carded, presumably for illegally preventing a score. Taking advantage of their one-man advantage with a tap-and-go penalty, the ball again went out to the left where Bridlington were running out of defenders. An unconverted try took the score to the half-century point.

As the half hour came play went backwards and forwards, with scrums being uncontested. Doncaster gained possession, a good kick to inside the Bridlington 22 led to a solid lineout, the ball quickly went to the centre of the pitch with Bridlington forwards stranded and yet another under-the-posts try.

Bridlington still refused to give up. With Freeman back on, Bridlington gained two penalties in quick succession, both of which they chose to tap and go, and with some strong final forward play were able to get Callum Sanderson over the line for a consolation try, which Arthur failed to convert.

Bridlington had fallen to a side who were much stronger on the day, but have retained seventh position in the league.

Next week, Bridlington travel to Hullensians.