Beverley v Bridlington Sat 20 Nov 2021
This match had everything you would expect from a passionate local derby; plenty of tries, lots of incidents, red and yellow cards and, most of all, lots of talking points. It was a tale of the rapier versus the bludgeon from the off, with Beverley’s fast and flowing start sparked by Dan Lee’s incisive break leading to a switch of play from left to right resulting in a well worked try for Jake Boardman. The Beavers maintained the high tempo start with some free-flowing rugby and following an abrasive mid field break from Louie Frear good support play saw Phil Duboulay score under the posts which he duly converted. Beverley 12-0 up after 8 mins before Bridlington had drawn breath.
However, all that changed as the ref began to assert his mark on the game, a yellow card for Andy Meagher, was followed quickly by what appeared to be a harsh straight red card for centre Louis Butler for a high tackle, especially in light of some later unpunished incidents. It didn’t take long for Brid to take advantage of the two-man advantage with Leon Bongare scoring from close range 12-7. Beverley where further punished when some short passing and straight running from Brid’s front row saw Fangupo charge over to give Bridlington a 14-12 lead, by the 20th minute.
The game then became a bit of a stalemate with both teams creating openings without being able to capitalise, and a string of penalties against both teams creating a stop start period of play. Perhaps the key moment of the match came just before half time, when after a period of sustained pressure from Beverley, Callum Gilson scored a well-constructed try for the visitors. A 21-12 half time lead.
A second half come back from Beverley was a tall order made more difficult by conceding another short range try 6 mins into the second period extending Brid’s lead to 28-12. However, the home team weren’t going to give up with it being difficult at times to tell Beverley were a man down. The bad news continued as the influential Phil DuBoulay had to leave the pitch with a facial injury. Yet his replacement Joey Franklin sparked Beverley’s response with a quick tap penalty being spun across the park for Dan Lee to race over to make the score 28-17.
The visitors managed to keep the Beavers at arms-length though by exploiting a tiring defence to add a fifth try all converted by the excellent Welch. Again, though Beverley showed that they are at the core a fluent team when they have enough ball with a well worked final try sending Lee over for his second of the game to make the final score 35-22. Overall a deserved win for Bridlington but with plenty of endeavour and heart from the entire home side just coming up short.