Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth taking their title race down to the final day

Bridgnorth are fired up for a final day shot at glory.


A monumental 29-17 success against Regional One Midlands leaders Dudley Kingswinford last weekend means the title will be decided on the last afternoon of league action.

DK will start as favourites on Saturday as they hold a three-point lead over Bridgnorth and face relegation-threatened Broadstreet at home.

All Blacks will head to Kenilworth in confident mood having beaten the top two teams in successive weeks to end their home campaign with a perfect record.

Having ended Syston’s title hopes the weekend before, another performance full of pride, passion and purpose accounted for DK in front of over 850 supporters at the Edgar Davies Ground.

“What a great day,” said head coach Bryan Smallman. “We spoke beforehand about the occasion, the clubs’ league positions and the rivalry.

“We had 200 people sit down for lunch and there were over 850 people at the game, it was a fantastic rugby day.

“Days like that don’t come along very often. Everyone was smiling at the club after the game.

“I watched the video back the following day and couldn’t believe the amount of people that were there.”

Nick Selway, Tom Foster, Loti Molitika and Adam Ellis scored the Bridgnorth tries against DK, while Elliot Murphy added nine points with the boot.

“They scored first but then we started to get the upper hand,” said Smallman. “We then put a bit of clear water between us and they scored the final try late on. It was quite comfortable.

“We had spoken to the players beforehand about what we needed to do.

“We need to physical, confrontational and stop them playing. And we did all those things. There were some really good elements of what we had asked for. Tactically we were very good.

“We put them in a position where they haven’t been very often this season.

“The last two weeks has just been phenomenal.

“I can’t fault the players for what they have done. Now we need one more big effort.”

Bridgnorth edged out Kenilworth 31-28 earlier in the season and Smallman is expecting another tough afternoon.

“Kenilworth are a strong side and have such an attacking threat,” he said. “They put four tries on us in a heartbeat when we played them at home.

“We have not been as efficient away from home as we have at home, but we need another big performance on Saturday.

“That Stoke game we lost recently will haunt me forever. Had we won that, then we would be going to Kenilworth on Saturday needing to win to win the league.

“Now we have to win and hope that DK slip up at home to Broadstreet. We have to make sure we do our job.

“The worst thing would be to lose and then find out that DK had slipped up as well.”

Whatever the outcome on Saturday, Bridgnorth will be able to look back on a season of impressive progress.

“We have achieved the two goals we set out at the start of the season,” continued Smallman.

“One was to be unbeaten at home and the other was to be better than last year.

“We have won every home game and we will finish at least third which is an improvement on last season when we finished fourth.

“We have seen an improvement and we are heading in the right direction.”