W 39 - 26
Bradford & Bingley
By Dave Campbell
At one point early in the second half of this final league game of the season against Bradford & Bingley, Scarborough led 34-0 having scored six tries without reply. However a stirring fight-back saw the talented visitors run-in four unanswered tries in twenty minutes before hooker Sam Dawson powered over in injury-time to clinch a 39-26 victory.
Following some end to end stuff Scarborough took the lead in the 10th minute when scrum-half Jordi Wakeham dashed from the base of a five metre scrum to catch the visitors sleeping and touch down near the posts; fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for 7-0.
Playing with a stiff south-easterly wind behind him ‘Bees’ fly-half Lance Taylor should have made more distance with a clearance from his own 22; however the ball was fielded by Scarborough wing Jonty Holloway who sprinted from his own ten metre line into Bradford territory before releasing fullback Jimmy Perrett who turned on the afterburners and scorched down the touchline to score in the 12th minute. Ratcliffe missed the touchline conversion into the wind but Scarborough led 12-0.
Although the Seasiders looked the likelier team to score in possession, Bradford & Bingley’s handling and ball retention was impressive and once the ball was lost to them it was extremely difficult for Scarborough to regain possession.
However good work at the breakdown by the home back row instigated a break by Aaron Wilson down the Scarborough left flank. The powerful centre almost made it to the line but was tackled short and Jonty Holloway, up in support dived over in the 22nd minute for a 17-0 lead.
Some excellent second quarter defence by Scarborough repulsed an onslaught by the visitors before Wilson scored a 39th minute try following a superb break by No8 Ben Martin and Scarborough led 22-0 at the break.
And skipper Matty Jones’s men continued in the same vein scoring a slick try in the 42nd minute; great work by the Scarborough forwards in the Bradford 22 saw young Will Rennard drive for the line, then with real ‘soft’ hands release Perrett on his shoulder to cross and cut in to score between the uprights; Ratcliffe converted for 29-0.
Scarborough continued to press looking for as many points as possible to secure a home tie in the play-off with Lancashire side Blackburn. And they stretched their lead further in the 55th minute when a superb lofted cross-field kick by Tom Ratcliffe saw wing Matty Young out-jump his opposite number Aaron Magee and flop over the line to score for a 34-0 lead.
Done and dusted? Not one bit of it; the visitors then girded their loins and impressed their supporters and the Silver Royd faithful with a spirited repost; the west Yorkshiremen found their touch and put on a superb handling display, keeping possession and scoring four tries in 20 minutes. Scarborough looked to force far too many passes and once in possession the Bees found the sting in their collective tail.
No8 Tom Cummins crossed to reduce the arrears to 5-34 in the 56th minute and when Scarborough lost possession on half way five minutes later, left wing Magee went over after a blistering ran; fly-half Taylor converted for 12-34. Second row Michael Crotch powered over in the 65th minute and Taylor converted to further reduce the arrears at 19-34. And the Bradford Blitzkrieg ended when Magee crossed for his second try in the 75th minute for a bonus-point; Taylor added the extras to reduce the arrears to eight points
Not for the first time this season the Seasiders lost concentration for a period of time in the second half and conceded a bunch of tries; however as on most of these occasions they have snapped out of it and won the game. And they did just that going into injury time in this game when hooker Matt Dawson broke from a scrum on the edge of the Bradford 22 to crash over and clinch the game 39-26.
Due to the imperative to score as many points as possible it was understandable that Scarborough kept forcing the pass; however once the ball was lost it was very difficult to regain, so efficient was the Bradford ball retention. After all that, the news came through that Blackburn had beaten Douglas Isle-of-Man 85-0; so the play-off game will be at Blackburn on Saturday 27th April
Tries: wakeham, perrett x 2, holloway, wilson, young, dawson
Conversions: ratcliffe x 2
Bradford & Bingley
Tries: cummins, magee x 2, crotch
Conversions: taylor x 3
Scarborough: perrett young wilson parker jonty holloway ratcliffe wakeham cutino dawson jones brown rennard e.govier d.govier martin Substitutes: phil stewart jordan holloway ian williams
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": luke brown
There were noteworthy performances all over the paddock particularly young Will Rennard on his first start. However ex-Whitby man Luke Brown was a major ball-carrier and particularly in the first half was consistently getting over the gain-line and putting his teammates on the front foot during a period when they scored six tries without reply.