W 33 - 0
By Dave Campbell
Promotion chasing Scarborough moved into second place in Yorkshire One running in five well-worked tries without reply for a 33-0 bonus-point win against an industrious but limited North Ribblesdale side.
A steady downpour in the hours before kick-off left the Silver Royd paddock decidedly soggy despite the efforts of the Scarborough ground staff but both sides wanted to get the game played.
The Seasiders lost the services of prop Nino Cutino and last week’s man-of-the-match second row Phil Watson to late fitness tests and Paul Taylor started at tight-head with skipper Matty Jones reassigned to the engine room. Mikey Whitton started at loose-head.
The ball was like a wet bar of soap and with a stiff breeze blowing diagonally across the pitch from the south-west, handling was difficult for both sides. However the Seasiders settled quickly and following some slick handling down their right flank, centre Jimmy Perrett found a gap and squeezed over in the 5th minute. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
The visitors looked to level from the re-start and drove deep into home territory but found an impenetrable line of defence hard to breach with Whitton, hooker Sam Dawson and Taylor in hard-tackling mood. And flanker Aaron Wilson was all over the North Ribblesdale midfield like a rash.
The Seasiders made some good ground out of defence in the form of Jimmy Perrett who twice released fullback Matty Young but the big fullback failed to hang on to the slippery ball and the chances went begging.
Both sides found it hard to move the ball in the conditions and Ratcliffe revised his tactics and used his siege gun boot to find field position in the second quarter. And from a lineout in the ‘Ribb’ 22 Dawson drove over in the 27th minute; another wide conversion into the wind saw Ratcliffe stretch the lead to 14-0.
With their tails up Scarborough were winning the midfield battle with scrum-half Jordi Wakeham and Ratcliffe combining with centre Billy Parker to get across the gain-line. And a slick move instigated by Ratcliffe saw a deft pass by skipper Matty Jones release Flanker Aaron Wilson to power over in the 36th minute; Ratcliffe’s conversion stretched the lead to 21-0.
North Ribblesdale heads never went down in a hard-fought second half but the men from Settle never really had the penetration to beat the line-speed of a Scarborough defence whose loose forwards Drew Govier, Aaron Wilson and Ben Martin comprehensively won the back-row battle.
And Martin, as ever, got among the tries in the 59th minute when he drove over from an attacking scrum to grab the bonus-point winning fourth try. Ratcliffe’s conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced back onto the paddock but Scarborough led 26-0.
North Ribb went hunting for a consolation try with their undoubted man of the match, inside centre Ryan Sumner, making the hard yards in the Scarborough half. However it was to no avail and when a pass from Ratcliffe on the edge of the visitors’ 22 was moved on with some sleight of hand by Jones, Perrett romped through the gap for his second touchdown of the afternoon. Ratcliffe slotted the conversion for 33-0 in the 72nd minute.
North Ribblesdale never gave up the ghost and pressed in the Scarborough 22 in the closing minutes but they never had the penetration, heft or invention to overcome the conditions or an in-form Scarborough side who were well served by a great pack performance. Behind them Tom Ratcliffe mixed his game up with intelligence, Perrett and Parker battled in the centre and the back three of Harry Domett, Jonty Holloway and Matty Young stuck to their tasks, undoubtedly with frozen hands in the bitter conditions.
Tries: perrett x 2, dawson, wilson, martin
Conversions: ratcliffe x 4
Scarborough: young domett parker perrett holloway ratcliffe wakeham whitton dawson taylor jones(c) purdy wilson d.govier martin Substitutes: anderson e.govier readman
North Ribblesdale: frik kaup-samuels wallbank sumner morphet moore(c) m.thwaite m.close i.close lynn a.thwaite boothbrown padley speres Substitutes: stubbs long muller
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": sam dawson & micheal whitton
Called up from the bench Mikey Whitton scrummaged well and was omnipresent at the breakdown where he very much made his presence felt. Apart from Sam Dawson’s scrummaging duties he really got around the paddock and gave Scarborough’s attacking game impetus with his surging runs and bagged a try at a vital time in the game.