The first game of the new year brought yet another local derby, with the Woldsmen making the short trip to Bridlington looking to avenge the last minute defeat they suffered earlier in the season. Driffield again made changes, once again showing the depth of their squad. Sowersby partnered Watts in the halves with Soanes and Stephenson outside in the centres. Up front, Dervey and Blenkinsop propped with Brumfield at hooker. Rob Mewburn, Robson and Murray made up a strong looking bench.
Bridlington kicked off and immediately took the lead. Driffield took the kick-off and looked to clear their lines, but a charge-down led to a try in the corner, well converted by Bridlington’s centre. Bridlington 7 – 0 Driffield
This was clearly not the start to the new year Driffield looking for and it seems to rattle them, not helped by the stop start nature of the opening exchanges with Bridlington suffering an injury to their winger. Driffield established some field position on the back of a couple of penalties but a lack of composure, allied with fierce Bridlington defence, kept the visitors scoreless. Despite conceding size to their opponents, Driffield’s scrum had the upper hand and won a penalty which Watts converted to get Driffield on the scoreboard. Bridlington 7 – 3 Driffield
Bridlington went straight back on the attack with clever running lines finding a worrying amount of space in Driffield’s midfield. It was only last-ditch scrambling defence that kept them out, but did lead to a penalty which Bridlington converted to extend the lead. Bridlington 10 – 3 Driffield.
This time it was Driffield’s turn to head straight back on the attack. Pinching the ball in contact Driffield moved the ball wide, with Soanes challenging the line and Furbank hitting the line well from full back. It was Furbank who claimed Driffield’s first try of the afternoon when, from a Bridlington clearance that failed to find touch, Furbank countered moving the ball wide to Robinson who sped down the wing before being tackled. For the first time in the game, Driffield took their time and executed well with recycled ball eventually being fed to Furbank to touch down In the opposite corner. Watts failed to convert. Bridlington 10 – 8 Driffield
Driffield repeated the feat soon after. This time Stephenson probed the line before being dragged down. Good off-loads from Cooper and Mewburn allowed Blenkinsop to crash over in a similar position to the last, and this time Watts was able to convert taking the lead to 5 points. Bridlington 10 – 15 Driffield
Bridlington replied just before half time when again they found space through the middle of the Driffield side and made thirty yards, before earning a penalty which they converted to leave the half time score Bridlington 13 – 15 Driffield
It was Driffield who started the second half stronger, with Cullen winning a turnover before powering down the touchline, only to lose the ball and concede a scrum. A great shove from the Driffield eight turned the ball over and won a penalty, which Watts converted to stretch the lead out Bridlington 13 – 18 Driffield.
Bridlington lost a man to the sin bin soon after and this started a purple patch for the Woldsmen as they bagged three tries to effectively seal the game. The first came from a well-worked lineout move. Mewburn carried first, straight into the defence and got some momentum. Robson ran a good line off Sowersby and he made further yards, before Watts moved the ball to the wing and found Furbank who plundered his second of the afternoon. This was too far out for Watts to convert. Bridlington 13 – 23 Driffield
Straight from the kick off Driffield attacked again, but this time found stout resistance from the home side’s defence. Watts put a high kick up, which was allowed to bounce and the ball fell into Soanes‘ hands. He didn’t break stride as he stretch home under the posts from half-way. Watts converted to leave the score Bridlington 13 – 30 Driffield.
The third try was again started by Cullen, who showed soft hands to off-load out of the tackle and find his supporting runners. Soanes and Stephenson combined well in the centre to carry the attack on further, before the forwards went again, with Robson, Mewburn and Dinsdale all prominent. However it was Furbank who added the final touch to claim his third try of the afternoon, again too wide out for Watts to convert. Bridlington 13 – 35 Driffield
Cullen broke through the middle from a lineout move, but with support slow to reach him conceded a penalty. Brid sent this to touch deep in Driffield’s half and set ta rolling maul. Driffield defended these well all day and forced a scrum for the home side five yards out. A well-worked backs move create space for the home sides centre and he touched down under the posts. Bridlington 20 – 35 Driffield.
With Brid chasing the game, play broke up a little and this led to Driffield’s final try. Solid Driffield defence forced an error in the home side’s play and the ball was spilled. Watts picked it up and scooted away to score under the posts for a try he converted. Bridlington 20 – 42 Driffield
After Stephenson was sent to the bin, Brid had the last say with an interception try run in from half-way, leaving the final score Bridlington 27 – 42 Driffield.