Bridlington RUFC 28-26 West Leeds RUFC
It would be wrong to begin this report without mentioning former Bridlington player, Hon Secretary and President from 1995 to 2004, writes GLENN BROADBENT.
Bruce Raper sadly passed recently having given over 50 years of his life to the service of Bridlington. The game was preceeded by a minute’s silence and flags flew at half-mast.
Captain and England Rugby amateur player of the year led out West Leeds, who find themselves playing at the highest level in the club’s history.
Wests got off to a good start taking advantage of a yellow card on five minutes and racing to a 0-14 lead on the quarter hour.
With the Dukes Park outfit back to 15 men they began to test the visitors and their large forwards did the ground work for the pacey backs to give West Leeds some defence practice. Eventually the defence cracked and the gap was closed 7-14.
Leeds managed to hold out to half time with no side adding to the score. HT 7-14.
Bridlington started the second half as they ended the first pressuring the West Leeds line but as last season the defence remained strong. Brid’s channeled physicality forced West Leeds into some uncharacteristic offences giving the home side chance after chance, eventually seeing them draw level.
It was West Leeds who against the run of play added the next points with an unconverted try 14-19. Bridlington hit back taking the lead for the first time in the game with a try which was a reflection of their style of play 21-19.
This West Leeds side know how to dig in and again they hit back with a quality team try set up by a great breakaway before the forwards weighed in to force the ball over the line. The conversion followed 21-26.
The period of added time seemed endless as West Leeds weathered the storm and with the last play of the game Bridlington took advantage of a poor West Leeds decision which gave them possession for one last effort. A try and a simple conversion gave them a home win. Wests at least gained 2 losing bonus points.
Bridlington are a strong side and do ok at this level. Despite defeat West Leeds can be satisfied with their debut in the higher reaches of Rugby Union. It will only take a few tweaks to put things right and they are simple tweaks.
West can also take heart from the performances of debutants Quaid, Johnstone and Waddington who look like good additions to the squad.
Next week Huddersfield YMCA are the visitors to Blue Hill Lane, their visit will bring back memories of the old rivalries of the late nineties and they will be welcome visitors.