- Storming first 20 mintues key to Brighton success
- Bridlington comeback falls short
Photo: RFU by Capture the Event
Brighton RFC 30 Bridlington 22
Brighton RFC became only the second club to win all the RFU cup tournaments as they beat Bridlington 30-22 in a bruising RFU Intermediate Cup final at Twickenham, full back Alex Finch finishing the game as the stand-out player with an impressive 20 points.
Brighton took the lead early on with winger Steve Dean finishing well after a neat final pass, Finch adding a difficult conversion to give the Sussex side a 7-0 lead. Bridlington struggled to gain possession with mistakes preventing them from gaining any momentum.
Bridlington didn't help themselves when centre Ryan Girking was shown yellow on 25 minutes.
Brighton pressed with their one-man advantage and Finch added two more penalties before the half hour mark before providing the crowd with a moment of brilliance.
Finding a gap in the defence the Brighton full back sped through, running half the pitch and breaking tackles to touch down under the post and added the extras.
Bridlington cut down the mistakes hit back with a drop goal from Jamie Muro followed by a try from full back Sizwe Zondo, who found space on the wing from an earlier charge down.
Bridlington cut the deficit when Zondo added his second after fending off and dummying through the Brighton defence, Stevie Mellonby converting from the touchline to give Bridlington a sniff at 15-20.
Brighton hit back when captain Will Smith smashed his way through and with the conversion Brighton stretched their lead to 27-15.
A yellow card for Brighton's Edward Court gave Bridlington hope and they cut the lead to five points with a well worked Tom Brown converted try.
Brighton tightened up though and held firm with the imperious Finch slotting a penalty on 65 minutes after Bridlington infringed at the scrum.
Brighton head coach Neil McGovern reflected on his side's win: "The lads have been absolutely fantastic, focused and spot on, next season we will be playing at our highest ever level and today was really pivotal and a good start for playing at that level."
Bridlington captain Alistair Sutton admitted the first 20 minutes was where the game was lost: "If we had played like we did in the second half and played to our game plan in the first 20 minutes I feel we could have walked away as champions, unfortunately you can't give a team a 20-0 lead."
Bridlington: Sizwe Musawenkosi Zondo, Stevie Mellonby, Tom Kemp, Ryan Girking, A.J. Burrows, Jamie Muru, Martin Robinson, Ezra Luxton, Morgan Kinnaird, Adam Dixon, Auryn Murray, Callum Cappleman, Gary Heeley, Alistair Sutton capt, James Thompson. Replacements: Paddy Waines, Lee Warley, Ryan Kerr, Micky Edmond, Tom Hanson, Tom Brown, Will Davies.
Brighton Blues: Will Fell, Edward Court, Neil McGovern, Steve Dean, Tom Aiken, Nick Cherry, Jess Tompsett; Adam Salvage, Ben Hewitson, Richard Neil, Christopher Vailalo, Will Smith capt, Nik Hannay, Luke Edwards. Replacements: Stephen Cruddas, Andrew Rowlandson, Stavros Economou, Keith Molyneux, James Trevis, Elliot Marshall, Dan Solofuti.