Bridlington 13-15 Alnwick RFC
Bridlington RUFC were the recipients of two pieces of silverware at the end of last season, Yorkshire League One winners and the Yorkshire Shield.
However, they are not finding North One East so easy in the first few weeks of the new season. Last Saturday, Alnwick, who were last there in the league in 2001/2 were to provide difficult opposition down on the east coast.
Scrum half Ord, wing Callum Burn and centre Hutchinson were missing from Alnwick’s team from the previous weekend allowing ex colt Owen Davison, Sean Hutchinson and Gordon Smith to come into the team. This was hooker Hamish Burn’s 50th game.
The visitors began in lively fashion, seemingly suffering little from the four hour coach journey. However, Bridlington survived the early onslaught to slowly but surely force their way into the game.
The scrums were fairly even at this point with the Alnwick front row of Smith, Burn and Phillips providing a strong unit.
On 20 minutes Bird and Moralee found themselves chasing a kick through with Moralee being taken out without the ball just as it looked as if he might score.
The away spectators called for a penalty try but Merseyside referee Moore would only give a penalty. The resultant kick was unsuccessful.
From the kick off, Warcup drew his man nicely to ship the ball to C. Burn who was perhaps over ambitious with a pass out of the back of the hand. At this point Bird made a characteristic break stopped by ex-Hull Ionian centre Martin.
However, it was at a cost and the Bridlington man will miss the next three games to follow head injury protocol.
The home side no. 8 moved into the centre proving a thorn in Alnwick’s side for the rest of the game. With five minutes to go before half time, Courty and Davison combined down the right in a promising move before Bridlington were penalised on the 22.
Alnwick opted for a lineout and Phillips broke the deadlock with a solo run to the line. 0-5 at the break.
Stand-off Warcups’s kicking from hand had been strong in the first half and he continued the good work when on 50 minutes he sent the ball deep into home side territory, chased by Moralee with the ball eventually arriving in the hands of full back Bird who embarked on an unstoppable diagonal run for a converted try . 0-12. Bridlington replied with a powerful run through the centres from their no. 8 Thompson resulting in an unconverted try. 5-12. Shortly afterwards, the home side scored again from a catch and drive move which Alnwick failed to halt. 10-12.
Following an excellent tackle by C Burn, Bridlington were penalised for holding on. Bird, from 40 metres out, made sure of the three points. 10-15.
The seasiders came back strongly, Courty now penalised for the visitors ten metres out. Inexplicably, Bridlington opted for three points when they could have gone for a scrum to possibly win the game. 13-15.
The final few minutes were nail biting for the visitor following, Bridlington going through a dozen phases in an attempt at victory before eventually allowing Alnwick the opportunity to kick the ball out for no time. Final score 13-15.
This was not an elegant win for Alnwick with both sides guilty of basic handling errors and missed tackles. However, it was a victory, on the road and it brought a welcome four points, points which were hard won.
It was a tense game but Alnwick never allowed the home side to gain the upper hand at any point during the match and Alnwick, as always, were dangerous on the counter.
This Saturday the first 15 entertain Bridlington’s neighbours Driffield at Greensfield in a game sponsored by GW White. The game is preceded by a ‘Ladies Only’ lunch and followed by a rowing challenge by Pete Robinson who with three friends intends to row the Atlantic in aid of MIND and Spinal Aware charities.