ALTHOUGH Knottingley RUFC could not be faulted for their effort and commitment they could not find the edge to break down a stubborn Bridlington defence in a 17-3 defeat in Saturday’s Yorkshire One contest.
Once again they were guilty of giving away too many penalties and were left puzzled and frustrated at decisions that lost them ground in strong attacking positions.
The opening exchanges saw Knottingley come under pressure and they were relieved to see an early penalty kick miss the target.
But they were starved of possession and had a lot of defending to do. A Mick Piper kick downfield gave them good field position, but the hosts from their line-out countered and Knottingley had to scramble.
It was not until the 21st minute that the first score came and it was Bridlington that got it when they fielded a kick from the visitors and hit back to go over for an unconverted try.
Although Knottingley’s pack was giving as good as they got, especially in the set pieces, it was the hosts who scored again with a converted try following a speculative cross field kick.
The visitors replied just before the half ended when from only their second penalty Piper landed a goal to make it 12-3 at the break.
The second half saw Brid mounting the early pressure, pushing their opponents back deep. A quick tap penalty caught Knottingley out and an unconverted try stretched the lead to 14 points.
Knottingley responded and looked to score themselves when a tremendous passage of play followed outstanding work from the forwards. Michael Ash, Louis Gates, Craig Field and youngster James Mattin were all involved in the move only for the final pass to go to ground. From the scrum the hosts were able to break and but for Ash’s covering defence they would have scored.
The visitors were awarded a penalty, to wry cheers from the touch-line, and again threatened only for the chance to be lost when an attacker was bundled into touch.
Another penalty saw Steven Seed – who had a terrific game at scrum-half – take a quick tap and race away, chipping ahead to lead to a Knottingley scrum following a home knock-on. But they then found themselves penalised once again and Brid cleared.
The visitors were now applying all the pressure with Andy Lund, Dean Ackroyd and Matthew Bradley leading from the front. A couple more chances came their way, firstly when Seed’s awareness saw him break only for a mystifying referee’s decision to halt his progress. Another promising build-up was then ended when a forced pass went to ground and Bridlington survived.
The closing minutes saw Knottingley camped on their opponents’ line in search of that elusive try that could have earned them a bonus point. They were foiled by some spoiling tactics from Brid and although three successive penalties were awarded against the hosts no yellow cards were shown and calls for a penalty try were ignored.
The game concluded in an unsavoury fashion when tempers got the better of both sides and each lost a player to a red card.