Battling Bridgnorth hit back for fifth win of the season

A superb second-half show fired Bridgnorth to a fifth Midlands Premier success of the season.

Bridgnorth celebrate a try against DK on Saturday Picture: Robert Nicholls
Bridgnorth celebrate a try against DK on Saturday Picture: Robert Nicholls

North had trailed 9-7 to Dudley Kingswinford but responded in style by clocking up 24 unanswered points after the break to maintain their fine start to the season.

“The old adage a game of two halves was true,” said head coach Alan Hubbleday. “DK had the momentum and energy with them in the first half.

“We had a fairly straightforward conversation at half-time and we put a couple of things right. It was a good learning curve for us and we need to be better rather than waiting until half-time.

“But once we started to generate the momentum in the second half, we really put the pressure on.”

On a day when Luis Evitt made his 50th first team appearance for the hosts and Conor Barker was handed his first team debut, Patrick Smallman crashed over for his first senior team try in the first half.

Gareth Bladen, Connor Nicholls (two) and Marley Finn all crossed after the interval.

Newport slipped below Bridgnorth to sixth in the table after a 23-19 reverse at Sheffield, who also climbed above them.

Chris Perry’s unconverted try was Newport’s only score as they fell 16-5 behind by the 50th minute.

However, RAF captain Dave Manning came on for his first appearance of the season and Newport then enjoyed a purple patch – Harry Mahoney stretching over and then Perry intercepting in his own half virtually from the restart to race away and touch down under the posts. Jake Leonard converted both to put Newport 19-16 in front.

However, there was to be one more sting in the tail as Newport conceded a controversial penalty deep into stoppage time and Sheffield crashed over to snatch the win.

Fourth-placed Ludlow lost a little bit of ground on the leading trio in Midlands One West as they were edged out 15-11 at Hereford – despite a try for Joe Doyle and two Jack Lines penalties.

“If you look at the stats, we probably had 70 per cent possession. We just couldn’t score,” said head coach Mikey Jones. “It was totally different to the previous week. We didn’t do enough with the ball we had. It was just one of those occasions where it’s not your day.”

Meanwhile, Whitchurch moved above Old Halesonians into eighth with a 34-5 defeat of their visitors.

Telford Hornets maintained their perfect start in Midlands West Three (North) by claiming the derby day spoils at Cleobury Mortimer.

Tries from Will Bench and Russell Fletcher helped Hornets secure a 20-12 victory which leaves them sitting second in the table, a point behind Shrewsbury.

The table-toppers were 53-5 victors at Eccleshall, while Clee Hill picked up their first win of the season with a 34-7 triumph over Aldridge.

Market Drayton are up to third in Midlands Four West (North) after beating Willenhall 17-12.

Craig Woolley and Chad Fieldhouse (two) crossed the line, while Ryan Horton came up with a wonder try-saving tackle late on.

Elsewhere, Oswestry were given a home walkover against Warley to remain level on points with Barton-Under-Needwood at the summit.

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