Saturday, 15 April.
Driffield travelled to near-neighbours Bridlington on Easter Saturday for the 50th instalment of the Turnbull Trophy. Extra interest was added this year as Bridlington will be joining Driffield in North One East next season as they have won their league by some distance.
The Woldsmen made a couple of changes with Bell at scrum half for the injured Gray and Dench returned at centre. Up-front, Turner joined George Mewburn and Brankley in a new-look back row.
The early phases set the tone for the game – a lost line-out from the visitors allied with scrappy play from both sides. Bridlington looked to just have the edge in the set scrum, but Driffield made yards each time they moved the ball wide, Dinsdale looking particularly dangerous on the wing. Driffield were making the early running, but a spilt ball in the Bridlington 22 was hacked clear and Driffield conceded a penalty. From the resulting line out, Bridlington moved the ball into midfield where a big gap appeared and the big winger showed good pace and agility to cross for the first points of the afternoon.
Driffield again went on the attack. Blacker had two lengthy runs, first getting Driffield out of trouble by intercepting on the blind-side, and then attacking after Robinson put him into space. Driffield kept the ball, went through the phases and caused Bridlington problems. However, it was Bridlington who scored next. A line-out drive set the platform and again they moved the ball to midfield. A clever move sent the blindside winger speeding through under the posts for a converted try. 12-0 at half time.
Driffield needed to start the second half well as the first score would be crucial. Again Driffield kept the ball and went through the phases well, but the Bridlington defence held well. Pressure brought a succession of penalties and from a kick to touch, Beachell won a good lineout and Brankley rumbled over for Driffield’s first points of the afternoon.
Momentum was with Driffield. Breaks from Brankley and Bell gave them field position, but errors cost them and chances were lost. It was against the run of play when Bridlington scored the try which deflated Driffield. A quickly-taken scrum penalty saw Bridlington make ground through the middle of the pitch. A clever inside ball found the prop who showed surprising speed and deft hands to draw Stephenson at full-back and give Bridlington a converted try.
The visitors hit back when Bridlington’s line-out wobbled and Brankley swooped on the ball. Furbank showed his outside break and put Robinson in for a try, but it felt like it was Bridlington’s day. They wrapped up the game with a well-executed try; a cross kick from the fly-half, who had showed good control all game, found the winger lurking out wide and he crossed at pace leaving the score 24-10.
A disappointing day for Driffield, but that shouldn’t detract from an outstanding second half of the season. The Woldsmen will be looking to end the season on a high in their last game at home to Morpeth on Saturday.