Driffield travelled to near neighbours Bridlington to start their 2016 campaign. Although an ideal chance to blow off some festive cobwebs, Driffield would be looking to avenge the heavy defeat suffered in the Turnbull Trophy last year
Turnbull Trophy 2016 : Bridlington RUFC 7 v 6 Driffield RUFC
Playing into a slight breeze the Woldsmen received the kick off and set off with intent. Scrum half Sheader caused his opposite number early problems at the base of the scrum, pinching possession and setting up an attack.
Despite early promise it was Bridlington who struck first. The ball was moved left from a midfield scrum, and the winger made good ground up the wing, before being well tackled by the covering Goldsworthy. An excellent offload allowed the supporting player to cross in the corner. In difficult conditions this was converted.
Looking to hit back immediately, Sheader again put pressure on at the back of the scrum and charged down a clearance kick. This lead to a penalty which Brigham pushed wide.
Young Will Burn had showed up well in the opening 20 minutes and made a couple of nice breaks but they came to nothing. Driffield’s best chance of the half was made by a well worked move, bringing Furbank round from the blind side which created space for Goldsworthy. Unfortunately the last pass went to ground and the chance was lost.
Brigham did convert a penalty before half time to get Driffield up and running on the scoreboard. Half time saw a number of changes with Stephenson moving to scrum half to replace the injured Sheader and Shipley and Blacker joining the fray.
Shipley made an immediate impact showing good energy from his first carry which won a penalty which Brigham converted. Play began to drift. Conditions made handling tough and the heavy ground would have taken its toll on legs.
Tackling by both sides was good and negated any attacking threat. Furbank moved to fly half and injected a bit of life into Driffield’s play, but couldn’t find a way through a resolute home defence.
Driffield did win a couple of penalties, both of which were a long way out, and with the conditions making kicking difficult, both were missed leaving the final score 7-6 to Bridlington. Bridlington were rightly jubilant at the final whistle. They had showed determination in defence and nice touches throughout the game.
Driffield will be pleased with the run out. Sheader impressed during his half and Stephenson again stepped in well at scrum half as he had earlier in the season. Sadler adds solidarity to the midfield and hopefully will be available more regularly in the second half of the season. Up front, Burn and Turner worked tirelessly and Havler was his usual robust self.
January brings a crucial quarter of games beginning with Dinnington at home on Saturday