Driffield entertained Bridlington at Kelleythorpe on Saturday searching for their first win of the season. The team sheet showed several changes with Parker replacing the injured Brumfield at hooker and Cooper making his first appearance of the season in the second row. Dinsdale and Jackson were on the wings meaning a move to full back for Lawrence, with Piercy missing through injury.
Both sides made a bright start. Bridlington got their offloading game working and looked to threaten the Driffield line, but good defence won the penalty and with a slight breeze at their backs, they were able to make good distance with the clearance. The Woldsmen looked much improved from their previous two games, putting pace into the game and working some of their dangerous runners into space. Bridlington were competing well at the breakdown however and gaining possession to stop Driffield’s attacks.
Driffield earned a penalty, and might have hoped for more than three points, but slight inaccuracy on the pass stopped runners in their tracks, and Watts stepped up to convert and give Driffield the lead. Driffield 3 – 0 Bridlington.
Driffield went one better soon after. A wide ball from Furbank put Jackson into space and he showed good pace down the wing, before being stopped in his tracks by a big tackle. He kept hold of the ball and Watts found Parker who galloped through the middle before being tackled on the twenty-two. Driffield recycled and found Dinsdale who was dragged down just short of the line, Bridlington conceding the penalty and losing a man to the sin bin. Driffield opted for a scrum, and Beachell carried off the back of the scrum into the heart of the defence. Furbank found Brankley who scored next to the posts. The conversion was missed but Driffield lead : Driffield 8 – 0 Bridlington.
Driffield then lost their own man to the bin, with Brankley taking a rest for a high tackle. Bridlington looked like they would make the home side pay, making good progress towards the home side’s line, before Beachell came up with the turnover and hacked clear. He led the charge and pressured the visiting full back into chipping through. Jackson had been turned around, but he showed good composure and excellent skill to hold two men and pop the ball to Dinsdale who scorched clear from 60 yards and scored his first try of the season. The touch line conversion was narrowly wide. Half time Driffield 13 – 0 Bridlington..
Driffield made a disastrous start to the second half, when they spilled the restart and Bridlington chipped the ball through and scored. This was well-converted from wide out to make the score Driffield 13 – 7 Bridlington.
Driffield compounded this start when they conceded a penalty, which the Bridlington kicker failed to find touch with but Driffield knocked on and gave the visitors good field position. Driffield redeemed themselves when they turned the ball over in midfield and found Brankley down the touch line. He moved it wide to Stephenson and a quick one two saw the ball back with Stephenson who scored in the corner. Watts converted from the touch line. Driffield 20 – 7 Bridlington.
Back came Bridlington. A box kick through was half-charged down, and from the resulting bouncing ball Driffield conceded a penalty. Bridlington kicked to the corner and the resulting catch and drive lead to a try, awarded after lengthy contemplation, and again converted. Driffield 20 – 14 Bridlington.
The last twenty minutes were very tense, with Driffield showing well at times. Zavatti and Robson both carried well. A cross-field chip well-taken by Dinsdale saw him just caught from behind and a half break from Furbank saw him stopped by a robust tackle. Too often on these situations, Driffield found themselves on the wrong side of the penalty count which enabled Bridlington to keep pinning the Woldsmen back and create pressure. Despite the best efforts of Beachell, Bridlington eventually found a way to pierce the resolute home defence with a dancing break from the Bridlington fly half saw him touch down under the posts. The conversion was a formality and the final whistle that followed straight after condemned Driffield to their third defeat of the season. Driffield 20 – 21 Bridlington.
This was a much-improved performance from the Woldsmen. The front row held their own in the set piece and all contributed strongly around the pitch. Borman and Cooper provided the steel in the second row and Beachell was outstanding at number eight. Furbank got his backs moving well with some raking wide passes and the back three looked dangerous every time they got their hands on the ball. Their discipline, however, will need to improve as they consistently found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle. Next Saturday sees the annual Ladies Day event and the visit of newly-promoted Consett.