1st XV - Report
|Bridlington||38||vs||12||West Park Leeds|
Lessons to be learned
West Park Leeds were taught a harsh lesson in the realities of life at the next level when they succumbed to a disappointing, albeit honourable defeat to one of the leading Yorkshire One sides.
The first try came inside five minutes, a well-rehearsed backs move seeing centre Ben Morgan send winger Alistair Booth bursting clear to go in for his 19th try of the season. The second try followed soon after, a quick tap releasing Andy Brodie in midfield, the classy flanker handing off three defenders on his way to the line. Phil Davies landed a superb touchline conversion and at this stage it all looked very straightforward. If only.
Prompted by the wily Muru, Bridlington began to come into the game. Great handling from a scrum outside the away 22 saw influential home Number 8 James Thompson cross for a well-worked try after 20 minutes. Muru converted then set up the next home try with a quick cross kick from a penalty, catching the defence napping and giving classy fullback Sizwe Zondo the easiest of tries.
An interval score of 17 v 12, in a half where the visitors had competed well, gave plenty of cause for optimism. West Park started the second half strongly, setting up the position for Davies to take a shot at goal from around 30 metres out. The fly half is closing in on 200 points for the season and this looked like a banker but the tricky seaside wind carried the effort just outside the post and the gap remained at five points.
The visitors still carried the attack but the hosts were using all their guile and experience to depower the scrum, to win the breakdowns and to begin to dominate possession. A well-organised home defence kept strong runs from the likes of winger Luke Gamble, prop Jonathan Stott and lock Josh Malkinson at bay and the hosts’ line was well protected.
Will Morecombe did a sterling job at scrum half in the absence of regular Number 9 Jack Bickerdike.
The unrelenting effort was beginning to tell and uncharacteristic missed tackles in midfield saw experienced centre Kieran Lawry glide through to extend the home lead, winger Mellonby converting.
Acting skipper John Fletcher and his forward colleagues were still asking questions of the home defence but another strong run by Brodie came to nought. Gamble was halted on the right and it became clear that the contest was effectively over.
Two converted tries in added time gave the final score a lop sided look that possibly didn’t properly reflect the effort that the lower ranked side had made. However, lessons will have been learned not least that the game lasts for 80 minutes, falling off tackles usually proves costly and chances must be taken when they are there.
Hopefully, West Park will have returned to their more usual form on Saturday when they make the short trip to Crag Lane to take on Leos in a vital league encounter.