Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough got off to a flying start running in three tries in the opening 13 minutes at Old Crossleyans. But having fallen behind at the break, they bounced back to grab a bonus-point win.
Skipper Tom Ratcliffe’s men took control from the start playing a fast and furious brand of rugby and took a 5-0 lead in the 7th minute with try from prop Wesley Langkilde.
The Seasiders were irresistible in the early exchanges and when wing Graeme Jeffrey broke a couple of tackles and galloped out of his own half his pass found Isaac Faamau. The marauding No8 released fly-half Tomasz Chadwick who switched play right to left with a cross-field kick and centre Ant Coffey plucked the ball from the air and powered over in the 11th minute.
Coffey had barely time to convert for 12-0 when he was back in action two minutes later involved in a sweeping move from deep finished off by Langkilde for 17-0.
Apparently exhausted by their early efforts the Seasiders took their foot of the gas and the Halifax-based side took control of the second quarter.
A try from flanker Billy Hammond gave ‘Crocs’ a foothold in the game in the 21st minute and fullback and skipper Chris Vine reduced the arrears to ten points with the conversion.
Centre Luke Saltonstall intercepted a loose Scarborough pass in midfield to race away and score in the 25th minute. Vine converted to cut the Scarborough advantage to three points.
Leading 17-14 Scarborough couldn’t buy some possession at that stage and when left wing Gareth Sweeney got on the end of a slick move following forward pressure on the Scarborough line, the first half transformation was complete and Crossleyans led 19-17 in the 37th minute.
Skipper Tom Ratcliffe had a chance to snatch the lead back with a difficult penalty on the stroke of half-time but his effort just missed the upright.
The second half was a far less frenetic affair than the first and Scarborough took control through the forwards who reasserted the dominance they had shown early in the game with lock James Leach, Faamau and flanker Ben Martin in punishing form.
A series of attacking five metre scrums saw the visiting eight turn the screw and Crossleyans’ replacement Rory Davis was sin binned in the 53rd minute.
The Seasiders continued to pile on the pressure and regained the lead in the 55th minute when the impressive Isaac Faamau drove over and Ratcliffe converted from the touchline for 24-19.
A Tom Ratcliffe penalty in the 68th minute increased the gap between the sides to eight points before scrum half Jordan Wakeman put the outcome beyond doubt side-stepping through a pedestrian ‘Crocs’ defence for a signature opportunist try late in the game.
MEN-OF-THE-MATCH: JAMES LEACH & BEN MARTIN
Two of the youngest players in the team, Ben and James worked tirelessly in an improved pack performance. Both grow in confidence and stature with every game.
CAMPBELL’S CORNER: The Seasiaders continue to be infuriatingly inconsistent; they dominated for threequarters of the game but went missing for twenty minutes in the first half. However, they did score five good tries for a bonus point; a good result on the road.