West Bridgford recovered from their disappointing loss in the NLD Cup last weekend against Scunthorpe and put in a dominant display against a Coalville team that were full of confidence going into the match.
The game started with Bridgford on the front foot and the forwards showing their dominance at every set play. The first try came from a Coalville scrum that Bridgford pushed back and with Coalville’s number 8 struggling to pick the ball up Ben Goulding pounced to turn the ball over, a couple of drives from the forward pack set up a perfect attacking position and when the ball was recycled quickly Daniel Graney executed the perfect chip and chase to score the first try of the game. Graney converted his own score for 7-0.
Bridgford’s tight 5 were running riot with the ball in hand and in defence the hard hitting Joe Wade was having a field day against his opponents, knocking them back every time they ran at him. Coalville were really struggling to cope with the pressure being put on them and from a line out on the half way line Bridgford’s catch and drive from a line out saw them march into Coalville’s 22, a quick offload from Ben Goulding to the on-rushing Graney saw him dummy a pass which created a gaping hole for him to run through and slide over the line under the posts for his and Bridgford’s second try of the day. Graney again converted his own try to make it 14-0 after 30 minutes.
After 35 minutes Bridgford’s winger James Scott was given a very unfortunate yellow card for a deliberate knock on and just before the half time whistle after some heroic goal line defence from Liam King and Niko Salmon, Coalville created an overlap with the extra man to score and give them a lifeline going into the second half with the score at 14-5.
After James Scott came back onto the field the dominance of Bridgford started to show again. Coalville started making errors and giving away needless penalties. One of which was within kicking distance and Graney easily slotted the ball between the posts for 17-5. Another penalty was awarded to Bridgford almost straight from the kick off and obviously feeling aggrieved a Coalville player lashed out and was shown a yellow card. Bridgford have not failed to score at least one try every time they have been a man up this season and that wasn’t about to change today. Another strong scrum from the forward pack saw Adam Taylor peel off and make good yards, he offloaded to Ben Goulding who powered over the line to touch down in the corner. 22-5
Daniel Graney was then shown a yellow card for what the referee saw as a slide tackle and being a man down again saw Coalville take the opportunity to get back into the game. A couple of missed tackles saw a gap open up in Bridgford’s defence and Coalville ran in under the posts. An easy conversion made it 22-12 with 15 minutes to go.
Any question of a late comeback was quashed when Graney came back from the sin-bin however. Another huge scrum against the head from Bridgford saw Coalville rush their set play, a big hit from Greg Hill saw Henry Cotton turn the ball over, quick ball to Jared Kelly saw him skip passed 2 defenders and offload to Sean Crowe who scored under the posts. Graney made it 4 out of 5 from the kicking tee and the match ended 29-12.