By Dave Campbell
Despite a below-par performance Scarborough extended their unbeaten home record to seven games with a bonus-point win over struggling Old Crossleyans at Silver Royd.
Things looked good for the Seasiders when they got the scoreboard ticking over within a minute of the kick-off when No8 Isaac Faamau broke from the base of an attacking scrum and released flanker Drew Govier to power over wide on the right for a 5-0 lead. Fly-half Tom Harrison failed to convert.
Given the visitors’ poor away form, the Scarborough faithful may have assumed that the floodgates would open; however they would have been mistaken as the west Yorkshiremen played some structured attacking rugby with Kiwi fly-half Zane Sanders and No8 Matt Thornburn orchestrating their efforts.
Wing Ryan Sweeney had a couple of chances to get Crossleyans onto the Scoreboard but his well struck penalties, both awarded for Scarborough straying offside had the distance but lacked accuracy.
Having hogged possession and territory, Crossleyans’ defence once again let them down when smart work by Jordan Wakeham at an attacking Scarborough scrum released prop Wesley Langkilde to romp over and ground between the uprights in the 21st minute. Harrison added the extras for 12-0.
The visitors continued to control proceedings as Scarborough’s ball-retention and handling, so good the week before at York, deserted them and Sweeney took advantage of indiscipline in the home ranks to kick a hat-trick of penalties in the space of ten minutes between the 26th and 36th minutes to reduce the arrears to 12-9.
Harrison stretched the Scarborough lead to 15-9 when the visitors were penalised for hands in a ruck in the 39th minute and scrum-half Wakeham scored one of his trademark opportunist tries a minute later for a 20-9 lead which failed to reflect the balance of power in the first forty minutes of the game.
Scarborough continued to struggle for cohesion in the pack and their set pieces left much to be desired in the opening exchanges of the second half and when several players were in front of a Tom Harrison clearing kick in the 52nd minute Sweeney kicked his fourth penalty to reduce the lead to 20-12.
With Mark Hopper and Ben Martin on for Langkilde and Govier the forwards settled but were re-shuffled five minutes later when Langkilde returned to the fray for injured hooker Ian Williams. And Crossleyans further reduced the arrears to five points when Scarborough collapsed a driving maul and Sweeney landed his fifth penalty of the afternoon for 20-15 on the hour.
The Seasiders finally got their act together in the fourth quarter and scored a couple of sensational tries. The first started by a surging run by Faamau to take play to the visitors 22 where it was recycled for centre Tomasz Chadwick to chip a sweet cross-field kick for skipper Tom Ratcliffe to score in the corner. Harrison converted from the right touchline for 27-15 in the 62nd minute.
The second came six minutes later when a Langkilde charge into the Crossleyans’ 22 was halted and from the ensuing ruck Harrison executed an almost identical kick to Chadwick’s previous effort and this time Chadwick got the touch in-goal for 32-15. Harrison’s touchline conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Lee Douglas’ charges appeared to have underestimated their opponents and a patchy performance was the result. Faamau, Martin, Williams and Langkilde were pick of the pack whilst behind them Wakeham, Chadwick, Paul White and Ratcliffe took the plaudits.
SCARBOROUGH: JEFFREY RATCLIFFE(CAPT) CHADWICK WHITE YOUNG HARRISON WAKEHAM OGILVIE WILLIAMS LANGKILDE READMAN WATSON GOVIER ROSSOL FAAMAU SUBSTITUTES: HOPPER MARTIN WELSBY (ALL USED)
OLD CROSSLEYANS: G.SWEENEY SALTONSTALL TRAVIS HAMMOND R.SWEENEY SANDERS VINE(CAPT) POLLARD HAMPSON DAY SEMBI McGILL WHEALE WAINWRIGHT THORNBURN SUBSTITUTES: N.SEMBI LUPESCU DAVIS
CAMPBELL’S CORNER: A great result but a poor performance; however it did produce five good tries albeit against a leaky defence. More consistency required!
MAN OF THE MATCH: ISAAC FAAMAU
Paul White and Wesley Langkilde grafted but Isaac produced an industrious performance on his home debut and going forward troubled the Crossleyans defence all afternoon.
THE KEY FACTS
SCARBOROUGH: TRIES: GOVIER LANGKILDE WAKEHAM RATCLIFFE CHADWICK GOALS: HARRISON 2 CONVERSIONS 1 PENALTY
OLD CROSSLEYANS: GOALS: SWEENEY 5 PENALTIES