Wests headed to Bridlington, again reshuffling the team to account for injuries and unavailability’s in a game that would see us field our 40th and 41st players of the league season.
The bus trip on the way over had a few points of note, the ambient bus temperature of 40c, Baz’s quiz and group travel sickness all featuring – although perhaps the highlight was Luke Mallinson being sent to buy some boots for Karl Wilson, who was forcibly removed from his caravan when new signing Crispin Hacking had to cry off early on the morning.
Having been stuck behind a tractor we arrived later than usual and had to speed through the warm up as we prepared for kick-off. It appeared however that we were still conditioned for another few minutes of warm up as we allowed Bridlington to race into a 17-0 lead within 15 minutes.
The first try a simple move off the back of the scrum, capitalising on Mal having hands like cows udders, the second score was the result of a WL knock on, which the Brid scrum half collected and raced away under the posts, before three further points were added when George Carpenter was adjudged to have stolen the ball after the Brid attacker had got his knees to the ground.
With this out of the way WL were finally warmed up, and set about attacking the Brid line, a penalty providing opportunity to kick to the corner. Dec Penny claimed the lineout and WL mauled towards the Brid line, the maul was repelled but Duane Smith took play on, before the ball was spun wide for Mark Calderwood to cross in the opposite corner, converted by Luke Mallinson. 17-7.
Alex Hughes seemed determined to score, and having backed himself on his own against 5 Brid defenders on one wing, he crossed on the other wing following an excellent delay pass from Campbell Breakwell to Sam Neave, who put Alex in in the corner. Mall kicked this one like he catches and missed. 17-12.
A terrible attempt by an unknown second row to take the kick off gave Brid the ball on the WL 10m, and having worked the phases up to the WL try line a try seemed sure to follow, however, an excellent turnover on the line provided the opportunity for Sam Neave to clear. Unfortunately, this only delayed the score as from the lineout Brid mauled there way over the line, the referee missing a bit of skulduggery on the ground in the process. 24-12
When WL managed to keep the ball they were playing some good stuff, Jack Marshall and Mitch making some ground with the ball, with Mitch getting held up over the line by what we presume was a Hi-Ab, but from the resulting scrum George Carpenter swatted away the Brid 9, paving the way for the 6th fastest man in the club, Timmy Jackson to burst through and score in the middle of the pitch. 24-19.
Half Time – 24 -19
Wests knew they were in with a chance of a result here and wanted to keep hold of the ball, and doing just that they took play up to the Brid 22, when WL colossus Dan Baxter took the ball on and was viciously high shotted (with no wrap) by the Brid defence the referee was appalled, and awarded the penalty, which Wests kicked to the corner.
Dec Penny again collected the ball and set up the maul, Brid infringed and finally the referee dispatched a Brid player to the sinbin – the game had been a niggly affair throughout, but the referee pointed out that he couldn’t give offences if he couldn’t see who committed them, even if he knew something untoward had gone on, fair enough really.
Wests continued to attack the line and Mitch went close, crashing the ball in and dotting down over the line, but having borrowed Mallo’s hands he knocked on in the process and Brid were awarded the scrum. DTR announced however that he was going to take this scrum against the head, then did so, and Wests had the ball again. The pressure was starting to tell as Brid again infringed and WL were awarded the penalty.
With Rab Watt having got the upper hand of the fridge freezer opposite him for much of the game Wests elected for a scrum from this penalty, and again went close, but couldn’t cross. The remaining 10 minutes of the sin bin were mostly eaten up by resetting of scrums by the referee, until with a few minutes of the bin remaining WL were awarded another penalty. George Carpenter, replicating Penrith away, declared ‘give me the ball, I’ll score’ – WL gave him the ball, he did not score, in fact the referee awarded a penalty against him for holding on, although it did appear that he had his knees, legs, bum and pet lip on the floor at the time.
This loss of momentum seemed to hit WL hard and Brid broke from there own try line to cross for a well worked converted try 31-19.
Wests knew we need a score to secure at least a try bonus point, with perhaps even more to follow and the prospects of this were boosted when the referee reduced Bridlington to 14 men, producing the red card when George Carpenter was punched in the face, again. Unfortunately only 3 minutes later WL were also down to 14 when Mark Calderwood was dismissed for also being a naughty boy.
Wests were desperate for another score, and when an overthrown Brid lineout dropped to the feet of David Gregory there was a glimmer of hope, this was quickly wiped away when DTR produced an expert throughball for the Brid centre to collect and dive under the posts for a converted try. 38-19.
Full Time – Brid 38 – 19.
The poor first 15 minutes cost WL dearly, with the remainder of the game being a typically close affair, and it is a testament to the performance that the team were bitterly disappointed not to leave with some league points.
There were however some positives, Rab Watt did fantastically well against a man 3 times his size, driving him back several times, DTR agreed to play hooker again now that he is a sponsored athlete, Alex Hughes again did well at 13 justifying his position ahead of old timer Sam Neave whilst Dom Walsh did well on his debut having joined from Morley this week.
Next up is York at home, and a presidents lunch is being put on for all those who aren’t available to play.
*Picture pinched from the Brid Site*
Updated 15:35 - 20 Nov 2018 by Daniel Baxter