West Bridgford Rugby got back to winning ways with a 33-12 bonus point victory over Spalding, a great way to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Dronfield the week before.
The match started off a little scrappy with both teams making handling errors and giving away penalties but it was Bridgford that scored first. After a penalty was awarded due to Spalding being offside, Ben Goulding’s quick tap saw him gain good metres, Thomas Hackland went to stand in scrum half and passed the ball to Daniel Graney who stepped his man and ran in to score under the posts. Graney converted his own score for 7-0.
Bridgford looked to really assert their dominance after the first score and that is exactly what they did with 2 quick-fire tries. The first came from a free kick that was awarded after a scrum. Andy Pike, making his return to the first team, gained good ground, the ball was them shipped quickly out wide to James Harries who handed off 2 tacklers and slid over the try line. Graney converted from a difficult angle. James Harries was the scorer of the second too. After some great work in his own 22 from Sean Crowe the ball was again passed out wide to Harries who ran 70 metres, stepping 2 players in the process to score under the posts and give Daniel Graney the easiest of conversions. 21-0.
Spalding did grab a try back and it was deserved. Darren Burley had to be at his best in defence to twice hold the ball up over the line but from the second resulting scrum Spalding’s number 8 picked and went from the back of the scrum to score in the corner. 21-5
Bridgford however recovered from this and got the last score of the first half. After another solid scrum Ben Goulding fired the ball to Graney who offloaded Josh Poole, a great missed pass saw the ball land in Rob Sutton’s hands and he slid over the line under the posts. Graney made it 4 from 4 on conversions and the half ended 28-5.
The second half was unfortunately mainly dominated by ill-discipline and injury rather than the free flowing rugby the spectators at The Memorial Ground had seen in the first half.
Firstly, after 48 minutes, Darren Burley was given a yellow card due to a culmination of penalties by the Bridgford squad. Then the match had to be swapped onto another pitch due to an injury to one of Spalding’s players. Spalding’s number 8 was then yellow carded for dissent towards the referee and at this point the game was edging towards a very disappointing end.
Both teams managed to refocus after this however and were each able to grab another try before the end of the game. A couple of missed tackles gave Spalding an easy run in which was converted. Then almost straight from the resulting kick off Bridgford were awarded a scrum, Daniel Graney was passed the ball and he opted to go for territory with a huge kick which bounced back over the head of Spalding’s retreating full back and landed perfectly for Rob Sutton to run onto and score in the corner. 33-12 was the final score but that was not the last of the action.
From a scrum, Spalding’s scrum half tried to disrupt Ben Goulding’s feed which ended in a bit of a scuffle and every player joining in to try and break it up. Both players were given a red card for their involvement in the incident.
On a final note, everyone at West Bridgford Rugby Club would like to send their best wishes to the Spalding player who looked to have suffered a very serious injury. We hope he will be back out on the pitch as soon as possible.