This was the annual Turnbull Trophy game, a fixture played between the clubs since the 60s in memory of a former player, Richard Turnbull. Even though the two teams no longer play in the same league, the fixture has always been furious and competitive.
Driffield had more players available than the previous week’s trip to Derby. They also welcomed Will Hughes who has joined from Malton & Norton, and overseas players Bryce McKinnon in the front row, and Kalani Grant – although he is a 10 / 15 he took the 9 shirt for the day.
He was straight into action, converting a penalty on five minutes to give Driffield the early lead. Driffield 3 – 0 Bridlington.
Bridlington were competing well, and Falkingham was next to score, bursting through tackles on the right of the pitch. Grant converted. Driffield 10 – 0 Bridlington.
Bridlington were still in the game, and started to gain territory. With 15 minutes gone they threatened the line, but Driffield’s defence drove them back. Then, they lost a man to the bin for a high tackle – probably the first of many for most teams, in view of the new tackle-height laws.
Rowbottom crossed the line after 22 minutes, only to lose the ball in the attempt. Finally, Rix found his way around the defence to score on 25 minutes, and Grant converted. Driffield 17 – 0 Bridlington.
With their tails up, and Bridlington’s man still not back on, Falkingham tore through the defence on the right side for his second, and Grant converted. Driffield 24 – 0 Bridlington.
With the man back on, Bridlington steadied and held out against constant pressure until just before half-time. Grant found a way through, jinking left and right, and made a full 40 metres before being halted. The ball was recycled and went through the phases, until this year’s skipper Brankley got the ball just outside the 22, and weaved his way through the tiring defence to score under the posts. Grant converted. Driffield 31 – 0 Bridlington – HALF TIME
The second half started much like the first half had ended, with Driffield exploiting every gap that appeared. Falkingham broke from his own 22, and was only stopped with 15 to go. He popped the ball to Robinson in support for an easy run-in. Grant converted. Driffield 38 – 0 Bridlington.
It was Hughes, on his debut, who scored the next after Rix broke from half-way and drew the last man before flipping the ball right to Hughes who had a 25 yard run-in to seal the score. Grant converted. Driffield 45 – 0 Bridlington.
Bridlington then lost another man to the bin for a high tackle on Brankley, who was substituted. By now, it was all one-way traffic with Driffield’s fitness levels, and Bridlington’s lack of them, obvious.
Rix was next to score, joining the line on the right side as an extra man, he took the ball from 25 out, and cut inside to score. Grant converted. Driffield 52 – 0 Bridlington.
Almost from the restart, Turnbull got a try wide out left, pulling his hamstring in the process. Grant missed this one. Driffield 57 – 0 Bridlington.
With their tails well up, Driffield ran amok. Grant went through the middle, throwing the ball left to Rowbottom who carried well, before popping the inside ball to Mewburn who went in for the score. The conversion was missed. Driffield 62 – 0 Bridlington.
Running out of energy and ideas, Bridlington lost a man to the bin, going over the top defending 20 yards out. Driffield kicked for touch, and caught the resulting lineout. A massive catch and drive carried them over the line on the left of the pitch for Johnson to score. The conversion was missed. Driffield 67 – 0 Bridlington.
Not long after, Rix rescued a loose pass on the half-way, popped an inside pass to Hughes who carried well, handing off to Grant to go in for his debut try, which he converted. Driffield 74 – 0 Bridlington.
Robinson scored another soon after, and then Sam Parker finished off the afternoon. Both were converted by Murray. Driffield 88 – 0 Bridlington FINAL SCORE
This was a crisper performance from the Driffield squad than the warm-up game at Derby, and their tackling was much better – it was comforting that they did not fall foul of the new tackle height laws once.
Next week will be a much stiffer test, when they face Harrogate at Kelleythorpe.