By Dave Campbell
Scarborough continued to entertain the Silver Royd faithful with another display of open, running rugby and earned a third consecutive bonus-point victory on home soil running in seven tries for a 48-14 victory over Bradford Salem.
The Seasiders had to make late changes to their line-up when Tom Ratcliffe and Jack Anderson failed fitness tests; fullback Jim Perrett moved to centre with Jonti Holloway at fullback and Joe Lenton coming in on the wing.
And it took only three minutes for Coach Simon Smith’s charges to get on the scoreboard when fly-half Tom Harrison slotted the kick when Salem were penalized for not releasing.
Scarborough played with pace and no little panache and were only prevented from stretching their lead by some over elaborate three-quarters’ play in the opening ten minutes.
However their reward came in the 15th minute from a scrum mid-way in the Bradford half; the ball was moved right to left through hands and Harry Domett playing his first league game for almost two seasons powered over wide in the corner for 8-0. Harrison pulled the difficult conversion across the posts.
Scarborough’s youthful back five in the forwards were giving a good account of themselves against an abrasive Salem side and when they won a lineout on their right touchline in the 18th minute the ball was once again swept cross-field and open-side Drew Govier popped up to ghost over. Harrison added the extras for a 15-0 lead.
Although the re-shuffled backs were having a field day the forwards shared the plaudits winning a greater share of ball in this game than in any of the previous four league outings this season.
And the tries kept coming when Jonti Holloway released Harrison in the 24th minute to chip over a flat defence; a Salem defender fumbled on the line and No8 Ben Martin, following up grounded for an opportunist try. Harrison converted for 22-0.
Skipper Matty Jones’s men had veritable glut of possession but a lack of composure saw them butcher three certain tries before Jim Perrett outpaced the Salem defence and a couple of teammates to chase down a massive clearance from his own half only to knock on in-goal with not an opponent in sight!
However the bonus point for scoring four tries came before half-time when hooker Sam Dawson got the touch from close range and Tom Harrison converted for 29-0 in the 38th minute.
Bradford Salem drove deep into Scarborough territory from the second-half kick-off but lost possession and No8 Ben Martin charged forward releasing Euan Govier who powered over to score in his first start for the first team. Harrison converted for 36-0. The SilverRoyders kept up the pressure and it was no surprise when substitute lock forward Mikey Readman drove over from close range for 41-0 in the 55th minute.
Not for the first time this season, the Seasiders appeared to go off the boil in the final quarter. Salem took full advantage with a series of powerful breaks against a tiring home side and centre Connor Ward and fullback Ryan Smith went over in the 65th and 70th minutes respectively. Flyhalf Andy Robinson converted both.
However Jonti Holloway rounded off proceedings with a flourish, sprinting over and grounding between the uprights for his seventh try of the season so far with the last move of the game. Tom Harrison converted for a thoroughly well deserved 48-14 win.
Simon Smith’s charges showed what they were made of coming back from a mauling at York to run in seven tries in a feast of running rugby against Salem. The bonus in this game was an improvement in set piece plays by the forward pack. More than half of this class of 2017/18 are youngsters and once again they gladdened this old heart by their effort, commitment and skill. Ben Martin was my pick of the pack whilst 9 to 15 delighted the big Silver Royd turnout with their creativity and pace. There was some disappointment in the stand and clubhouse that the Seasiders appeared to take their foot of the gas; Is it a lack of either fitness or the killer instinct? I’m not sure but Simon no doubt will be looking to find out and sort it out on the training paddock. And let’s be positive here; 25 tries in the first five league games is not a bad return on their investment in such an entertaining brand of rugby.
Scarborough: holloway, lenton, parker, perrett, domett, wakeham, harrison, cutino, dawson, jones (c), oxtoby, wilson, e govier, d govier, martin Substitutes: readman, whitton, ward
Bradford Salem: smith, armstrong, wood, gardner, brown, robinson (c), bokiss, griekis, markey, o’sullivan, veitch, morrell, darragh, manchester, nassau, white, otter
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": ben martin
Ben has had big boots to fill with the departure of Isaac Faamau at the end of last season. He has worked tirelessly in a very young back row and was an inspiration to his teammates. He was also up in support to score a superb first half try.