Malton & Norton
Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
High-flying Malton just pipped visitors Scarborough in a hugely entertaining local derby that could have gone either way at a sun-drenched Gannock. Malton opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when they won a line out just inside the Scarborough half. A catch off the top opened up the field and released the backs where fullback Sizwe Zondo injected pace and winger Ian Cooke sprinted to the line. He was brought down short and from the ensuing maul prop Ben Boothman powered over in the corner. Centre Zweli Sodladla added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Shocked but undaunted by this early reverse Scarborough took the game to the home side; and when they won a line-out twenty metres from the line on the left, the ball was moved swiftly across the line and wing Graeme Jeffery powered over in the corner. Skipper Tom Ratcliffe added the touchline conversion to level the scores at 7-7 in the 8th minute.
The end-to-end stuff continued and from an attacking lineout Malton flanker Ali Coe secured and second row Jamie Rounthwaite was driven over for the try. Sodladla again added the extras for a 14-7 lead in the 15th minute.
Under pressure the Malton front row concede a penalty just inside their own half; Radcliffe’s kick took the action into the red zone and from the lineout the ball was whipped cross-field through hands and a cute pass out of the back of fly-half Tomasz Chadwick’s hand sent fullback Ant Coffey in at the corner in the 20th minute. Ratcliffe’s well-struck touchline conversion hit the upright.
Trailing 12-14 Scarborough really went for it and only poor finishing let them down including a looping pass to create an overlap for Jeffrey which he spilled with the line at his mercy in the 35th minute. During this period the Seasiders eschewed several chances to kick themselves into a lead.
On the bright side some terrific play got Scarborough into scoring positions however Sodladla had the chance to stretch the Malton lead with a penalty on the stroke of halftime but he pulled it wide and Malton led 14-12 at the end of a breathtaking forty minutes.
And Scarborough started the second half as Malton had the first with a try within a minute of the re-start. A cross-field diagonal kick from Chadwick switched play left to right to the Malton line. A Malton player secured the ball but two others sealed it off and referee Hanson Haig awarded Scarborough a penalty.
The home eight prepared for a scrum as they thought that Mr Haig had called accidental offside. Scarborough scrum-half Jordan Wakeham took a quick tap and strolled in; Radcliffe converted to take the lead for the first time in the game at 19-14.
Scarborough had opportunities to stretch their lead but some good approach play was negated by poor finishing. Not so with Malton who swept up-field in a move instigated by fullback Zondo; the visiting defence was sucked in wide on the right and ran out of numbers when the ball was switched wide left for winger Ben Woodhouse to power over and level the scores at 19-19 in the 56th minute.
Things were far from settled going into the final quarter and Ratcliffe nudged the visitors ahead with a penalty for 22-19 in the 62nd minute. Play continued to ebb and flow and following a scrum on the Scarborough five metre line flanker Ali Coe drove over following a pick up by No8 Josh Heggie in the 70th minute.
Trailing 22-24 Scarborough did have a chance to clinch the points late in the game but Ratcliffe’s penalty hit an upright and Malton were relieved but deserved winners due to their clinical finishing.
In a committed and heartening performance Ant Coffey, Paul White and livewire scrum-half Jordan Wakeham was pick of the backs. Up front the pack played well as a unit with perhaps Paul Taylor, Ben Martin and Leach edging the others for the plaudits.
Scarborough dominated possession and territory but still lost a game they could have won. They’ll rue their poor finishing and failure to go for goal with some kickable penalties. The Gannock woodwork also played a part in the outcome of the game!
Referee: Mr Hanson Haig [West Yorkshire Society]
Tries: jeffrey, coffey, wakeham
Conversions: ratcliffe 
Malton & Norton
Tries: boothman, rounthwaite, woodhouse, coe
Conversions: sodladla 
Scarborough: coffey, anderson, ratcliffe, white, jeffrey, chadwick, wakeham, taylor, williams, zavatti, leach, readman, martin, govier, faamau Substitutes: langkilde, scales, welsby [all used]
Malton & Norton: zondo, woodhouse, dyantjies, sodladla, cooke, daley, angus, featherstone, thornton, boothman, rounthwaite, lumley, coe, triffitt, heggie Substitutes: william, emms, ramsey
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": james leach
There were candidates all over the paddock but once again 18 year old James Leach’s contribution marked by physicality and work rate was immense.