1st XV v Bridlington
Back On Track! York enjoy their day at the coast.
Match Report by Jack Sinclair.Photos by Rob Long.
After a couple of disappointing results, the last thing the York squad wanted was a trip over the Wolds to Dukes Park on a cold, very wet and miserable day. Although York were welcoming back into the starting XV several injuries in Rutherford, Hodges, Stockton as well as a returning Potrykus and were also introducing new hooker Evan Woodworth, nothing in the first fifteen minutes play suggested a satisfactory outcome as Bridlington were camped in the York half and wave after wave of attacks were only kept at bay by a dogged York defence.
Just when it seemed that the pressure was easing an unfortunate clearing kick in the York 22 metre area was charged down by Robinson who followed up and touched down for the opening score. This was easily converted (7-0). No disputing that it was the result of constant pressure.The restart took York into the Brid half for the first time and there followed some good driving play, spoiled only by 2 successive York knocks on. However Brid were penalised in front of the posts and Jon Dawes converted. (7-3). This score marked a turning point and with Liam Hessay beginning to control play with some astute tactical kicking, Brid were themselves coming under pressure and following one chip through, and a fumble by the Brid defence, winger Rob Hodges swooped to secure the touch down. Dawes converted well (7-10).From the restart, York secured the ball and cleared to touch but having won the resultant line out, York were then penalised for an infringement on the ground and Brid, levelled the score from good distance. (10-10).About this point, York lost Campbell Thomson with a couple of fingers dislocated, but it wasn’t long before he returned to carry on his immense tackling duties, leaving an ashen faced physio on the touchline. Play, for the remainder of the half, became fairly scrappy with the wet conditions not conducive to good handling, but York were beginning to exert a dominance in the lineouts while holding their own in the scrums. Also, scrum half Nick Speck standing in for ever present Toby Atkin, was beginning to warm to the task and create uncertainty amongst the Brid backrow.
The second half started as a mirror image of the first, but with York exerting the pressure. York’s backs began to show their pace and skills and Hessay continued to find touch with some great tactical kicks. Lewis Hannibal replaced Luke Stockton and the pressure continued until Brid were penalised and Jon Dawes converted (10-13). Although the restart took play into York’s half, the respite for Brid was only momentary as Hessay soon directed play to the other end. Steve Johnson and Harry Taylor were introduced by York for Daz Rutherford and Rob Hodges, and this saw a ramping up of the pressure. York’s scrummage now had the edge on a tiring Brid eight and with a secure line out, the rise in confidence was evident. An overthrow at the line out was recovered and swept down the York threequarters for George Davies to feed youngster Taylor, who with a couple of shimmies cut inside to score a superb try. Dawes converted (10-20).For perhaps the first time this season we saw a York side tactically controlling the game via stand-off Hessay and play continued in the Brid half until with about 5 minutes to go, a scrummage 5 metres out saw No 8 Shane Goulding cross near the corner for an unconverted try. (10-25). York were now focused on reaching for the 4th try (and bonus point) and their keenness saw them concede a scrummage penalty. The penalty took play into York’s half, where unruly maul followed unruly maul and Brid slid through for a converted try (17-25) with the last move of the game.
Perhaps York’s coaching staff, who must be delighted with this fine win, might puzzle over why York have conceded a last minute try so often this season. It might be costly!