By Dave Campbell
A team performance oozing power and purpose saw Scarborough maintain their promotion push with a bonus-point win over Beverley in a cracking local derby at Silver Royd.
Scarborough kicked-off with a bone-numbingly cold northerly wind behind them and when they moved the ball from the first scrum Beverley came over the top of a subsequent ruck and were penalised.
Tom Ratcliffe took the kick from 30 metres out and his towering effort hit the upright, bounced back into play and No8 Ben Martin following-up drove over for the opening try in with only 55 seconds on the clock. Ratcliffe added the extras for a 7-0 Scarborough lead. And when the visitors infringed in their own 22 four minutes later the big fly-half slotted the penalty to stretch the lead to 10-0.
With domination at the set pieces, the Seasiders also looked to hit the gain line with their big men and Mikey Readman, Phil Watson, Aaron Wilson and front rowers Paul Taylor, Nino Cutino and skipper Matty Jones did just that, setting up the marauding three-quarters behind them.
Beverley’s plan was to run the big Scarborough forwards around in an effort to tire them but although their handling and ball-retention was excellent they ran too many lateral lines and lacked punch and penetration.
The Scarborough back row of Ben Martin, Aaron Wilson and Drew Govier smothered much of the visitor’s efforts and looked effective going forward themselves. However when the next try came it was from a set piece when a re-set Scarborough scrum in front of the visitors’ posts was driven over and Ben Martin got the touch. Ratcliffe converted for 17-0 in the 21st minute.
Beverley had their fair share of possession most from the lineout in very windy conditions but could make little headway through a solid home defence. And Scarborough increased their lead in the 35th minute when a chip forward from fullback Jim Perrett was knocked on by Beverley fullback Luke Hazell. From the resulting scrum the ball was swiftly moved to Perrett who straightened up and romped over wide on the right. Ratcliffe failed with his conversion attempt and Scarborough led 22-0.
Beverley had a chance to get on the scoresheet on the stroke of half-time but fly-half Phil Duboulay pulled his long distance penalty effort wide and Scarborough led 22-0 at the break.
Playing with the wind behind them after the break Beverley’s ball retention saw their skilful backs brought more into the game but as in the first forty minutes their lack of penetration and a solid defensive performance from Scarborough made them unlikely candidates to be next on the scoreboard.
And Scarborough did stretch their lead in the 55th minute; they had spent some time in the visitors’ 22 and eventually unlocked their defence when Tom Ratcliffe took a pass from centre Billy Parker, glided between two defenders and released flanker Aaron Wilson to cross wide on the left. Ratcliffe added a towering touchline conversion for a 29-0 lead.
Wilson had arguably been Scarborough’s most effective forward in the first half and it came as some relief to Beverley when he was sin binned for a dangerous tackle in the 63rd minute. And they took advantage of the man shortage three minutes later when prop Raymond Coates dived in to score from close range. Phil Duboulay converted to cut the home advantage to 29-7.
Beverley turned the screw with the Seasiders down to fourteen men but the ball-retention which had characterized their early play deserted them and when they spilled the ball in the home 22, skipper Matty Jones gave it an almighty hoof up-field and chased it himself. The cavalry arrived behind him and a good field position was gained just outside the Beverley 22.
And from an attacking scrum wide on the right substitute scrum-half Joe Lenton released flanker Drew Govier to drive over in the 78th minute. Ratcliffe converted from the touchline for 36-7. The referee played fully five minutes of time added on at the end before fullback Hazell squeezed over in the corner for a consolation try for the visitors. The touchline conversion was too much for Duboulay and Scarborough ran out winners of a pretty creditable advertisement for Yorkshire One rugby.
This was very much a team performance with the tight five outstanding not just for their dominance at the set scrum but their ability to get up and tackle and punch holes in the Beverley defensive line. Behind them once again the young loose forwards harried all afternoon. I felt sorry for the wingers in the bitterly cold conditions but both Harry Domett and Jonty Holloway laudably went looking for work. Tom Ratcliffe standing in at ten had an other effective game and he mixed things up just enough to keep the opposition guessing. Jordi Wakeham had a busy and productive day and will be sorely missed as he will be out for three games following knee surgery tomorrow. Billy Parker, Paul White and Jim Perrett all looked good going forward and played their part in Scarborough’s best defensive effort of the season.
Tries: martin x 2, perrett, wilson, d. govier
Conversions: ratcliffe 4
Tries: coates, hazell
Scarborough: perrett holloway white parker domett ratcliffe wakeham cutino jones(c) taylor steadman watson wilson d.govier martin Substitutes: e.govier whitton lenton
Beverley: hazell thomson graham turnbull holmes duboulay franklin coates fell brown hancock innes starbuck hodgeson Substitutes: moris jenney hart-fisher
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": aaron wilson
I could easily have coped out and made it all eighteen players or the tight five; however Aaron’s drive, non-stop action and tackling plus a try were so impressive. However what made it for me was the way the Beverley team breathed a huge collective sigh of relief when the big lad was sin-binned in the 63rd minute and knew they’d get a break from his attentions for the next ten minutes!