North One East
Bridlington 34- Percy Park 10
‘’The loss of fortune to a true man is but the trumpet challenge to renewed exertion, not the thunder stroke of destruction. ‘’
The result may seem emphatic yet it does not tell the whole story. Percy Park were desperately unlucky to come away from Bridlington’s ground without any points. A wise old ‘Bridlington’ sage was heard at the back of their stand to say ‘Aye lads…..you were robbed today’ and with that he donned his cap as he made his way to the clubhouse for a pint. Now I believe he was being a bit unjust to his own side, who with Park delivered a great game for the neutral, but in small part he had a point. Bridlington received the benefit of the official’s decisions in Park’s red zone and were able to convert those opportunities into points. Park received the benefit of decisions outside the Bridlington 22 and were unable to convert their fortune into points. To many it appears as if fortune has deserted Percy Park of late, however they are a good side and with renewed effort and determination they will turn things around.
The game was evenly fought. Two good sides with good individual players causing problems for either side. For the supporter it was great to watch and the Bridlington support were vocally excited. Bridlington started off on the charge penning Percy Park inside their 22. But Park stuck to the task and weathered the early storm with Toby Davison and Michael Langlands excelling in defence. With the wily old fox Thomas Turnbull stepping into fly half Park kept absorbing the pressure and clearing lines when needed.
Having absorbed the pressure Park came into the game. Their first real opportunity came 15 minutes into the half. A great take from Langlands in the line out saw Park peel and with a quick pass into the midfield Michael Grove entered the line from Full back and chased the gap. It was only a try saving tackle from the Bridlington defence that diffused the Park charge. Park were on the ascendency and looking comfortable. Yet the final pass was being dropped or a wayward pass would fail to meet its target frustrating players and the travelling support alike. Park really needed to convert territory into points because if you don’t the inevitable happens. And it did. The strong Bridlington centre pairing seized onto a loose pass and their inside centre broke several tackles. With his partner in support and with further players also in support the corner flag beckoned. First blood to Bridlington. A try impressively converted from out wide.
From the restart Park spluttered and Bridlington kicked to the corners depriving Park of any territory. The Bridlington pack were beginning to break the tackles and with the Bridlington inside centre causing problems with some direct and powerful running Park were back- pedalling. It was with ‘no surprise’ when on 35 minutes gone the referee awarded a penalty to Bridlington as Park were caught offside. The Bridlington kicker was in fine form and the penalty was converted.
Yet Park were back at it and as the half was coming to close an astute kick through from Grove had the Bridlington defence clearing their lines. Unfortunatly the resulting line out did not see Park capitalise as the ball was lost in the tackle.
At the turn Bridlington were 10 points to the good.
Park started well with winger Liam Blackburn making a great pick up from his boots and with the Bridlington defence diving in from all sides the referee awarded the penalty. Park went to the corner. With the resulting line out secured, the Park forwards went on the peel and hammered the Bridlington line. Keeping the ball and going through the phases. Then the familiar story; the ball was ripped from the player as he went to ground and Bridlington cleared. Still Park pressed and centre Phil Morse was moving the ball around probing for gaps. A break saw Grove into the line and into space. Quick passing saw Park deep into Bridlington’s 22. Unfortunatly Phil Morse held onto the ball with players out wide and an opportunity went begging. Fortunately the referee deemed that Bridlington went in from the side. A kick to the corner. And from the lineout Park pressured the Bridlington line with forward Austin Philips working hard. And to all he appeared to get his reward as he hurled himself over the line from a short distance, much to the travelling supports delight. Yet the referee failed to agree and deemed his effort was ‘held up’. Park were galvanised and in control and from the resulting scrum Thomas Turnbull on the loop found himself in space crossing the line in the far corner. Try to Park. The difficult conversion missed.
Not to be denied Bridlington came straight back from the restart. Their game plan revolves around several big ball carriers creating yards before a long pass into midfield stretching the opposition defence. With ball secured from the start Bridlington carried the ball into the Park 22, their lively scrum half at the back made a hash of the pick up yet he was rescued by the referee penalising Park for lying on the ball. Penalty in front of the posts. With Bridlington kicker in fine fettle the kick was duly taken.
End to end. When wing Leo Caulfield dislodged the ball with a very robust tackle Park seized on the ball and a quick pass saw Park travelling forward with an overlap beckoning. Regrettably Park heard a loud shrill whistle and were brought back for the scrum which had the Park support thinking ‘on another day we were in’. Was fortune starting to play its hand?
Bridlington regrouped and with some changes moved their impressive centre to full back giving him the opportunity to run at Park on a deeper line. And the tactic worked as Park failed to contain him. And as a consequence found themselves defending in their 22. Yet their defence is good and with a turn over ball Michael Langlands and Phil Morse brought Park into the Bridlington half that saw the home side infringe. With a free ball an audacious cross field kick almost paid off. Brought back for the penalty Park went for the corner. A great catch and drive and a right peel saw prop Marc Cook score a fine try. Park were unable to add to the score with the resulting conversion missed. 13-10 and Park looking good.
As with all good home teams Bridlington came back at Park with a vengeance. The restart saw the ball ripped from a Park players grasp and Bridlington piling over to secure their ball. The game was becoming physical. With Park camped on their line a Bridlington player picked the ball up from the back of a ‘ruck’ and ran into his own player. The resulting ‘bounce’ appeared to put him over the line amongst several Park bodies. An initial signal suggested that the ball was held up. The crowd groaned. The players stood up. A whistle was heard and the awarded try was given to hushed silence around the ground and it was from that moment fortune left Parks side. With the try converted Bridlington were two scores ahead.
As the game progressed and approached the final ten minutes Liam Blackburn set off on a powerful run from just outside his 22. The Bridlington defence catching him just before the red zone. With ball placed on ground and players piling in to secure the ball the resulting melee resulted in confusion and Parks Liam Blackburn being given a yellow card. With Park down to 14, a slip by Michael Grove saw the space presented taken and the subsequent try converted. With Park back to parity and just before the whistle a further try followed when a Park player was stripped of the ball and a series of quick passes put Bridlington into the corner. A try duly converted.
Park put in a fine performance and with hard work and determination they will turn this season around and as the quote states this poor run of results does not need to be ‘the thunder stroke of destruction’ renewed endeavour will see Park through.
The final score 34-10