The rain held off when the Bumbles took to the field against Baildon Select XV made up of players who had won at Twickenham, so felt no intimidation when faced with a full Bumbles squad.
The first 10 minutes was a full blooded affair with neither side able to break the other down as the game moved between both 22 meter lines. The Bumbles were playing well and initially surprised Baildon with how much they had improved since the last match.
The Bumbles pack were magnificent with Captain Kev, Lee, Mark, Paul , Ahsan , Ryan and Rupert driving into every ruck, maul and tackle.
Baildon really put the Bumbles backline under pressure closing down Dan 'Cookie' Cookson at 10, the best efforts of the tireless scrum halfs Simon and Andy trying to get fast balls out.
It was a good tactic from Baildon stopping the ball getting to the flying wingers of Tigger Steadman, Big Gooders and Rob.
The pressure exerted by Baildon started to show and they took an early lead but failed to convert. The Bumbles rallied and Darryl Wilson broke though from inside centre to blaze a trail down the right wing to the roar of the packed stand. Another missed conversion and the game was level. This was followed by an immediate response from the boys from the top of the hill with a jinking run cutting through the Bumbles defence to score which was followed by a conversion. 5-12 at half time!
Half time and an inspirational team talk from a battered and bruised head coach saw some rapid phases and ‘pick and goes’ leading to Ryan Wilson driving through to emulate his brother and take the ball home, a conversion by Ahsan and all level.
At this point Baildon realised that the Bumbles had matured and were not a team to be taken lightly anymore. They raised their game and the class that had taken them to victory at Twickenham came through in abundance.
The counter rucking was intense and the fact that they had to throw themselves into the game with such intensity was a real compliment to a Bumbles side. Another try and 12-17. The tiring boys from the Hive tried and tried to break through a now resolute Baildon defence however this time it held and the game finished with a well earned victory to the visitors.
A huge thanks to the referee John for a match well controlled and officiated and most of all to the Baildon boys for giving the lads form the Hive a real game with little given pushing us all the way.
Well done all!!!
(report by coach Si)
(report by coach Si)