Driffield travelled to near neighbours Bridlington on Easter Saturday for the 50th instalment of the Turnbull Trophy.
Bridlington RUFC 24 v 10 Driffield RUFC 1st XV
The Woldsmen made a couple of changes with Bell at scrum half for the injured Gray and Dench returned at centre. Up front, Turner joined George Mewburn and Brankley in a new-look back row.
The early phases set the tone for the game – a lost line-out from the visitors allied with scrappy play from both sides.
Bridlington looked to just have the edge in the set scrum, but Driffield made yards each time they moved the ball wide, with Dinsdale looking particularly dangerous on the wing.
The visitors were making the early running, but a split ball in the Bridlington 22 was hacked clear and Driffield conceded a penalty.
From the resulting line-out, the hosts moved the ball into midfield where a huge gap appeared and their big winger showed good pace and agility to cross for the first points of the afternoon.
Driffield again went on the attack. Blacker had two lengthy runs, first getting Driffield out of trouble by intercepting on the blindside and then attacking after Robinson put him into space.
The Woldsmen kept the ball, went through the phases and caused their opponents problems. However, it was Bridlington who scored next.
A line-out drive set the platform and again the hosts moved the ball into midfield. A clever move sent the blindside winger speeding through under the posts for a converted try to give them a 12-0 lead at half time.
Driffield needed to start the second half well as the first score would be crucial and again they kept the ball and went through the phases well, but the Bridlington defence held out.
Pressure brought a succession of penalties and from a kick to touch, Beachell won a good line-out and Brankley rumbled over for Driffield’s first points of the afternoon.
Momentum was now with Driffield. Breaks from Brankley and Bell gave them field position, but errors cost them and chances were lost.
It was against the run of play when Bridlington scored the try which deflated Driffield. A quickly-taken scrum penalty saw the home side make ground through the middle of the pitch.
A clever inside ball found the prop who showed surprising speed and deft hands to draw Stephenson at full-back and give Bridlington a converted try.
The visitors did hit back when Bridlington’s line-out wobbled and Brankley swooped on the ball. Furbank showed his pace out wide to make a break and put Robinson in for a try.
However, it felt like it was Bridlington’s day and they wrapped up the game with a well-executed try.
A cross kick from the fly half, who had shown good control throughout the game, found the winger lurking out wide and he crossed at pace leaving the score 24-10.
A disappointing day for Driffield, but that shouldn’t detract from an outstanding second half of the season.
The Woldsmen will be looking to end the season on a high in their last game at home to Morpeth on Saturday.